US (NJ): With legalization come hopes that cannabis could be a lucrative crop

It was no surprise to Michael Di Croce when New Jersey voters approved a referendum Tuesday allowing anyone 21 and older to smoke cannabis recreationally.

For two years, Di Croce, the mayor of Shamong Township, Burlington County, has been pitching his Pinelands community as a potential cannabis epicenter in anticipation of legalization. His goal was to use the resulting revenue to lower local property taxes and maybe even build a community center with an Olympic size pool.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Di Croce said of the vote. “Farmers… have been struggling for a long time.”

Someone has to grow all that weed, Di Croce knows, and he’d like a lot of it grown in Shamong. Because cannabis is illegal at the federal level, it can’t be transported across state lines. So Di Croce sees the potential.


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