City Council opts out of allowing recreational marijuana businesses in Paterson | Paterson Times

City Council opts out of allowing recreational marijuana businesses in Paterson


Members of the City Council adopted a measure on Tuesday night that disallows the opening of recreational marijuana businesses in Paterson.

Council members voted 6-1 to opt out of allowing recreational marijuana businesses. Council members approved the measure to meet the August 21 deadline to adopt an ordinance on recreational marijuana.

“Opting out is not a bad thing. It gives us more time to make sure the language is right,” said councilwoman Lilisa Mimms.

Council president Maritza Davila, who was the sole vote against opting out, tried to build support among her colleagues to allow recreational marijuana businesses.

“I wanted to opt out of the retail portion,” said Davila. “We have an underground market already.”

The Muslim community in Paterson vehemently opposed allowing marijuana businesses while Green Thumb Industries, which runs the RiSE medical marijuana dispensary, was lobbying for allowing them.

No one appeared for the public hearing on Tuesday night.

Mayor Andre Sayegh has signaled he intends to veto the opt-out ordinance. Councilwoman Ruby Cotton, who favors allowing marijuana businesses, last week said if the mayor vetoes the opt-out he will do significant damage to the community. If he vetoes the ordinance, marijuana businesses could open in commercial and industrial areas all over Paterson.

“We don’t have real data how this will affect our community,” said councilman Luis Velez. He is concerned about possible negative impact on quality of life for residents.

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  • Thetentman Thetentman

    Another ingenious move, subverting the will of the people. As if you could not already buy weed in Patersontopia. I am sure all the existing purveyors of Pot are thrilled that they will have zero legal competition in town.

  • Jesusheartsmuhamed

    just goes to show how corrupt politicians are….. they allow open air drug markets in their city but appose legal regulated sales of a plant that is less deadly then tobacco or alcohol. i wonder how gangs will do without the easy money from selling weed. Paterson could of used the tax revenue to create jobs and increase police presence in troubled neighborhoods.

  • John

    Putting greed to the side and putting human being first, how can anyone in the right state of mind want.a Marijuana recreational establishment in their back yard. Disgrace. Disgusting and shame on the bankrupt shameful government

  • John

    Did you know this legalizing of weed will further destroy the people of color communities more. This message to our youth will be the ultimate destruction. Drive by these communities now and.thats all you see and smell while the government is pushing "it's ok to smoke weed". Wake up my brothers and sisters.

  • Paterson Resident

    Read between the lines…!