While many states have legalized herb for both medical and recreational use, the decision of whether or not to allow cannabis businesses to operate within a municipality often falls to the local government. In recent years, the legalization of cannabis at the local level has become a hotly debated topic across the United States.
In many towns across the Garden State, it appears that the local governments are refusing to listen to the desires of their constituents.
Data collected from various towns in New Jersey shows that there is a clear trend of high voter support for the approval of cannabis businesses, yet many local governments have chosen to opt out of allowing these businesses to operate within their borders.
Despite well over 500 towns supporting cannabis by a majority vote of over 50 percent, with many much higher, about 335 municipalities opted out of legal, licensed cannabis businesses opening and operating within their borders, missing out on the massive revenue generated by cannabis, but more importantly, being flat out ignored its constituents.
Have you ever wondered why some towns in New Jersey don’t allow cannabis businesses, even though lots of people in those towns want them?
Well, it turns out that some local governments aren’t listening to their citizens.
In places like Roosevelt in Monmouth County and Hi-Nella, Pine Hill, and Woodlynne in Camden County, a whopping 80% of voters support allowing cannabis businesses.
But, these towns have all chosen to opt out of allowing those businesses to open up shop. Similarly, in Maple Shade and Sea Bright, 76 percent of voters want cannabis businesses, but their local government said no.
It’s the same story in Palmyra, Audubon, and Lindenwold, where 78 percent of voters are in favor, but their local government isn’t allowing weed businesses. This is a big problem because cannabis businesses can bring lots of money and jobs to a community. Plus, cannabis can be a safer and more effective medicine for some people.
Then, on the other hand, towns like Passaic county embrace cannabis and are hosting job fairs and other events to bring awareness and excitement to the burgeoning cannabis industry in New Jersey.
Does it seem fair for local governments to ignore what their citizens want? Shouldn’t governments listen to the people they serve and make decisions to make the community better?
Despite this high level of voter support, many local governments in these towns have chosen to opt out of allowing cannabis businesses to operate within their borders.
Towns such as Somers Point and Buena in Atlantic County, Glen Rock in Bergen County, and Pitman and Mantua in Gloucester County have all chosen to opt out of cannabis businesses despite 70 percent voter support for their approval.
This trend can also be seen in towns such as Metuchen in Middlesex County, Fair Haven in Monmouth County, and Cranford in Union County.
Other towns, such as Corbin in Atlantic County, medical marijuana has been approved, but no action has been taken on the issue of retail weed businesses despite 71 percent voter support.
It is clear from the data that there is a significant disconnect between the desires of the local residents and the actions of their government officials.
These towns, with high approval margins and ordinances opting out of cannabis businesses, demonstrate a refusal of local governments to listen to the voices and wishes of their constituents.
While the NJCRC is busy OKing almost 1000 licenses since legalization, many licensees are struggling to find locations to open and operate, despite overwhelming support in many NJ cities and towns.
This is of particular concern given the significant economic benefits that cannabis businesses can bring to a community, as well as the potential for cannabis to serve as a safe and effective alternative to traditional medications for many individuals.
But most important seems the refusal of the local governments to allow cannabis businesses, whether retail or non-retail (in most of these towns, no medical either, despite numerous bars and pharmacies in the same towns!)
It is crucial that local government officials take into account the desires of their constituents when making decisions about the presence of cannabis businesses within their borders.
The data shows a significant portion of the population supports these industries. Ignoring their wishes is a disservice to the community.
It is the responsibility of government officials to represent the best interests of their constituents and to make decisions that will benefit the community as a whole.
It is crucial that local government officials take into account the wishes of the people they represent and make decisions that will benefit the community as a whole, including the potential economic benefits and safe alternatives to traditional medications that cannabis can bring.
The data explored by Heady NJ demonstrates a trend of high voter support for the approval of cannabis businesses in certain towns in New Jersey. Yet, many local governments have chosen to opt out of allowing these businesses to operate within their borders despite the desires of their constituents.
Chances are the local governments are counting on the fact the people DON’T know how many others in their local communities supported the NJ 2020 cannabis ballot question, with continued and growing support as time goes on.
Be sure to look up YOUR town’s voter approval margin towards the Cannabis Ballot Question and see if your local government’s current law matches the will of the people of the great Garden State.
Use our new Cannabis Finder & Industry Directory Guide to check it all out with ease!
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