October 6, 2021

Cannabis Implementation is Critical Issue For the Future of Princeton

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter of support for the efforts of the Cannabis Task Force (CTF). Implementation of cannabis is a critical issue for the future of Princeton.

Legislation to legalize cannabis was passed with support of the community but should be integrated through thoughtful planning and regulation. Additionally, the socio-economic benefits of cannabis must be utilized to promote growth. CTF has led the discussion to encompass: opportunities for people that lack the resources; benefits for the aging population; local ownership and Minority/Woman Business Enterprise (M/WBE) participation; and additional tax revenue that will contribute to social justice initiatives.

As someone who was born and raised in Princeton, I understand the importance of progress while maintaining core values. Goals of inclusion of the underserved and contextual implementation are fundamentals that strengthen the community. Cannabis is inevitably coming and it is up to the discretion of the community of how it is handled.

This is evident in the neighboring Lawrence Township where a medical dispensary recently opened, Zen Leaf, on Route 1 adjacent to Quaker Bridge Mall. This is an example of a multistate corporate entity with no roots in the community. The large signage, visibility, and distinct design features are not consistent with the goals of CTF. Additionally, this location will serve those in our community while generating revenue for Lawrence not Princeton. These are all issues that CTF with the support of the community can influence.

I support the CTF initiatives for the dispensary zones, local M/WBE participation in ownership, and inclusion of underserved and aging populations. This ensures local needs and opportunities are addressed. Cannabis has entered the community and CTF is a forum to ensure the socio-economic benefits are established as a foundation for the future.

Roger Pine
Constitution Hill West