NUTLEY, NJ - The Board of Commissiners of the Township of Nutley are scheduled to introduce an ordinance at the May 4, 2021 open public meeting prohibiting the operation of any class of cannabis businesses in the township.

Shortly after the agenda item was made public, the community responded. Instead of storming town hall with pitchforks and torches, they stormed TAPinto Nutley with facts, and a bit of sarcasm.

The ordinance, as listed on the published agenda reads:

MAYOR MAURO G. TUCCI & BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS / ORDINANCE NO. 3473

AN ORDINANCE BY THE TOWNSHIP OF NUTLEY IN ESSEX COUNTY, NEW JERSEY PROHIBITING THE OPERATION OF ANY CLASS OF CANNABIS BUSINESSES WITHIN ITS GEOGRAPHICAL BOUNDARIES AND AMENDING CHAPTER 700 OF THE TOWNSHIP OF NUTLEY’S MUNICIPAL CODE (PUBLIC HEARING JUNE 1, 2021)

Before we get into community reaction, let's take a quick look back at how we got here:

In November 2020, voters legalize marijuana in the Garden State. Statewide, voters supported legalization of marijuana with more than 66% in support of legalization. Up in Smoke: New Jersey Ballot Issues Results

In Nutley, residents supported legalization. According to the Essex County Clerk's Office, 10,369 votes (64.67%) were cast in favor of legalization by Nutley voters. Conversely, 5,665 (35.33%) were opposed. 

According to the State of New Jersey, municipalities have the authority to impose an additional 2% sales tax on cannabis sales to help raise local revenue.

The ordinance is being introduced May 4. This is called “the first reading.” There will be a public hearing on Jun 1,2021 as a part of that Board of Commissioners meeting. 

Local business owner Neil Henning stated “If Cannabis business’ are allowed to do business in the state of NJ there is no good reason to have this ordinance in Nutley.”

Karen O'Malley brought up the November election results and stated “The county definitely voted overwhelmingly in support of the measure. The best and only course of action IMO, is to go with those election results in this matter.”

James Mazza added his 2%, um 2 cents "On one hand complain that taxes are so high and not know how to fix it. On the other ban businesses that you can charge an additional 2% tax rate on to help the township. Makes sense." 

“Great idea, pass on needed tax revenue and then all the people who are buying will drive a few minutes to surrounding towns and buy it there.” stated Anthony Staropoli. 

Nicole Gallagher wrote “Dumb. We can’t fill our storefronts but let’s turn away businesses. Poor choice, Commissioners.”

TAPinto Nutley reader Barbara Conover, a Montclair resident, stated "Hey, Montclair will take that tax money from cannabis, no problem! 2020 was a hard revenue year for our town. Thanks, Nutley!"

 

The complete agenda for the meeting can be found on the township website: COMMISSIONERS PUBLIC MEETING TUESDAY, MAY 4, 2021 / 7:00 P.M.

The Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 4 via Zoom.

To gain access to the meeting go to zoom.us/j/98805921694. Password: 876956. For those without computer access or mobile device you may dial into the meeting at:  (number based on your current location) US: +1 929 205 6099; +1 312 626 6799; +1 301 715 8592; +1 346 248 7799; +1 669 900 6833; or +1 253 215 8782. Meeting ID: 988 0592 1694.

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