MARGATE — City Commission on Thursday joined the growing list of communities in New Jersey saying “no thanks” to legalized marijuana.
The board voted 3-0 Thursday on two ordinances. One banned all cannabis businesses from setting up shop in town, and the other made it illegal to use cannabis products in public.
“We are the official cannabis labor union, and we are asking you to table this ordinance and not ban good jobs,” said Hugh Giordano, of Blackwood, representing the United Food and Commercial Workers union in Egg Harbor Township, which he said has 15,000 members in South Jersey.
“Cannabis creates good union jobs,” Giordano said, for those who study botany, horticulture, chemistry and pharmacy. “It will attract young, educated people to live and work here.”
Under the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance and Marketplace Modernization Act, towns have until Aug. 21 — 180 days from the adoption of the state law — to create any local enforcement structure. Towns that do not act by then will be governed by the state’s law.
Giordano suggested looking at an ordinance passed in Bayonne, Hudson County, which allowed the town to pick and choose which businesses can enter town.
The only Margate resident to speak on the subject favored banning cannabis.
“I support not having marijuana in Margate 100%-200%,” said Steve Warner. “It’s no good. It will destroy this country.”
New Jersey cannabis activist Edward “Lefty” Grimes of the nonprofit SativaCross said the use of edible cannabis in candies and gummies, for example, should not be included in the use ban.
“You need to look at sick people affected by this ordinance,” Grimes said. “If you are not banning oxycontin but banning cannabis … one person is treating their cancer with oxycontin and one with cannabis — that’s a 14th amendment violation. You need to table this.”
City officials said the ordinance bans all forms of cannabis for public use.
The meeting was the last that will be held both in-person and online, said Mayor Michael Becker. Now that city building are not under any capacity restrictions, Margate will return to all in-person meetings, he said.
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