Camden is not the first to consider a pause to look at the big picture, according to Mike McQueeny, an attorney with Foley-Hoag who consults municipalities and businesses on the cannabis industry in New Jersey and New York. He is also counsel for the New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association.
“A lot of communities statewide have some form of a cannabis task force [or committee] to study what the impact will be on their individual communities,” McQueeny said, adding that by implementing a pause municipalities would miss out on the revenue the businesses could bring in.
“The first thing that almost any business looking to get into the cannabis industry does is … go to professionals and [ask], ‘What towns are open for business,’” he said.
Camden’s committee has been meeting for months. Pace said that it’s not just about recreational marijuana, and that members have been looking at the budding industry as a whole, not just the recreational portion of it.
“We still have to make sure we are answering the needs of those patient services on the medical side,” she said. “The closest dispensary to Camden is about 13 miles away in Bellmawr.”
In addition to medical needs, Pace said the committee is looking at hemp, as well.
“It’s not so much on cannabis and medical, but that’s industrial manufacturing, building products, packaging materials,” she said. “Hemp is the larger … revenue generator.”