Letter to the Editor: Parsippany’s Missed Opportunity for Economic Growth

parsippany focus

Dear Editor:

I’m a tax-paying, lifelong resident of Parsippany, and I understand the concerns surrounding the cannabis industry.

But have you fully considered the facts and data that support permitting cannabis retailers?

2% of all sales go directly to the town as tax revenue which amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. This could potentially save Parsippany residents from the consistent tax increases we’re currently experiencing for years to come!

Dispensaries also encourage local job growth by hiring retail staff and contractors for ancillary services to build out the storefront.

There are already a number of towns neighboring Parsippany that are permitting dispensaries to operate, including Boonton, Dover, Morristown, Rockaway Borough, Rockaway Township, and Victory Gardens.

Safety is also a big concern, but it is often misguided. Studies find that there is no correlation between cannabis consumption and increased violent crime or homicide–in fact, it has the opposite effect; a 19% drop in crime rates.

Towns with dispensaries will also benefit from the increased safety and security measures that must meet state and municipality laws. Dispensaries must have controlled site access with multiple ID checkpoints, 24 hours, 7 days a week video surveillance, and professional security guards.

And regardless of your stance, it is important to look at trends locally and federally objectively.

In October, President Biden requested the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to review its status as a Schedule I drug. He even took it a step further and pardoned all prior federal offenses of cannabis possession.

In New Jersey, 70% voted in favor of cannabis when it was placed on the general election ballot to legalize it on November 3, 2020.

A Rutgers study published in February 2022 indicates home sales prices increase by 1.6%, or $6,366, when a dispensary is located nearby.

Parsippany also has a number of vacant commercial properties that are near major highways, away from schools, residences, and places of worship, which would make for great locations for dispensaries.

The cannabis industry is a lucrative emerging market that will undoubtedly bring economic growth to the towns that allow retailers to operate within them. In New Jersey, it is estimated that sales revenues will reach over $2 billion by 2026.

So why hasn’t a resolution been passed to permit cannabis retailers to safely and responsibly operate in Parsippany?

P.S. I encourage you to support state-licensed cannabis retailers who want to operate in Parsippany by signing this petition.

Cassara Grasso