Chatham Borough bans the cannabis business for the time being

CHATHAM, NJ – Chatham Borough Council members voted during Monday night’s session to ban recreational cannabis companies from operating within the borough’s boundaries for the time being.

The majority of council members who voted for the ordinance to pass did so to await further information from New Jersey State on regulations for these types of businesses, due by Aug. 22.

To view the discussion – including from members of the public – and the public hearing, click on the video below, which will begin approximately 2 hours and 6 minutes after the virtual meeting began to be recorded.

Among the votes was that of City Councilor Jocelyn Mathiasen, who was a “yes”, on the premise that the council would have more time to “examine this question in relation to the facilities,” said Mathiasen.

Mathiasen stressed that residents could continue to order marijuana and have it delivered to their homes by a licensed company outside the district. Although she said she believed marijuana had addictive properties, she said as a policy maker that the council should focus on the effects of alcohol and opioids on individuals, with 95,000 alcohol-related deaths in the country annually and 500,000 opioid-related deaths since the beginning of this epidemic.

Irene Treloar remained in the “no” vote as she had when the regulation was introduced on May 24th. Treloar said the district should consider the grade three and four sales models, which are wholesalers and distributors who could each bring 1 percent tax revenue to the district. Treloar said she saw no problem with how these types could be safely regulated.

Of three other “yes” votes from Len Resto, Karen Koronkiewicz and Frank Truilo, both Koronkiewicz and Truilo commented on the vote, each suggesting that they watch the problems evolve.

Public speakers Rozella Clyde and Bob Weber expressed dissenting views on the matter, with Clyde saying that this type of regulation makes recreational cannabis “a bugbear for our youth”. She also suggested that the Council should have encouraged more civic engagement before creating the regulation.

Weber, on the other hand, said the ordinance “does not affect anyone’s right to smoke recreational marijuana,” and he supported its passage.

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