SOUTH RIVER – The borough has introduced two ordinances that would allow certain licensed marijuana facilities to operate in nonresidential areas in the borough.
The proposal, which was introduced late last month, would prohibit the retail sales of marijuana items and related supplies throughout the borough.
“There were a number of retailers that would like to sell marijuana, but we decided it was best to say no,” Mayor John Krenzel said. “There is general agreement on this. If you want to wholesale grow it and sell it that is fine, but as far as retail that’s a no.”
Under the proposal, the classes of cannabis licenses permitted in the borough would be: Class 1 cannabis cultivator license for facilities involved in growing and cultivating cannabis; Class 2 cannabis manufacture license for facilities involved in the manufacturing, preparation and packaging of cannabis items; Class 3 cannabis wholesaler license for facilities involved in obtaining and selling cannabis items for later resale by other licensees; Class 4 cannabis distributor license for businesses involved in transporting cannabis plants in bulk and Class 6 cannabis delivery license.
The borough would limit the number of licenses to five in each permitted class.
The licensed cannabis facilities would be permitted in non-residential districts of B-1 Neighborhood Business District, B-2 General Business District, LI Light Industrial District and WR Waterfront Revitalization District.
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All classes of licenses would be prohibited from operating within 200 feet of any church, public school or private school not conducted for pecuniary profit. In addition, no occupancy may occur, or no licensed cannabis operation may begin until all required licenses for such use are obtained from the state and borough.
No outdoor growing or processing would be permitted. All activities would occur inside an enclosed and permanent building. No production would be permitted inside a vehicle, shipping container, trailer or movable or mobile structure and a licensed cannabis facility cannot be part of a home office or home occupation.
In addition, no facility shall be permitted to have a physical reserve of cash, currency, or other monies in excess of $5,000.
Other requirements include that the building be equipped with a ventilation or other system to prevent cannabis odors from emanating from the interior of the facility.
A tax would be paid to the borough by cannabis growers, processors, and wholesalers.
Under state law, if municipalities do not adopt a marijuana zoning ordinance by Aug. 22, six months after legalization went into effect, marijuana businesses would be allowed to operate in the municipality for five years.
However, a municipality can reverse its decision at any time. If a municipality does not pass an ordinance, it would not be allowed to prohibit marijuana businesses for at least five years.
The borough’s proposed amended zoning ordinance will be sent to the planning board for review and comment.
A second reading and public hearing on both ordinances will be held at the 7 p.m. July 12 virtual borough council meeting.
Susan Loyer covers Middlesex County and more for MyCentralJersey.com. To get unlimited access to her work, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
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