NEW BRUNSWICK – The county seat may become the county hub for recreational marijuana businesses.
An ordinance allowing licensed cannabis establishments in all six classes approved by the state to operate in the city is slated for a public hearing and final passage early next month.
The six classes of licenses allowed for recreational marijuana in New Jersey are grower, manufacture, wholesale, distributor, retailer and delivery.
The hearing on the ordinance will be held at 5:30 p.m. July 7 in the New Brunswick City Hall Council Chambers.
New Brunswick is one of only a few communities in Central Jersey looking to permit all types of marijuana businesses. Some communities have banned recreational marijuana business while others limited certain businesses to light or heavy industrial areas.
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Under the ordinance introduced by the City Council last week, no person or entity can operate a cannabis business in the city in any of the license areas without having obtained a license in accordance with the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance and Marketplace Modernization Act.
Also under the ordinance, on-premises consumption of cannabis in any form is prohibited, including outdoor areas. Consumption of cannabis in any form also would be prohibited in or outside any nonresidential property, and consumption on residential property would be at the discretion of the owner or manager of the property.
In addition, the ordinance prohibits the consumption of cannabis in any public place. A limited number of permits will be permitted in city zones.
According to the ordinance, 60 days after passage the city would issue a request for proposals for applicants looking to submit license applications who will be scored on a scale of 0 to 100 with at least 80 points required to apply to the state for a license.
Under the proposed ordinance, hours of operation at retail cannabis establishments will be 10 a.m. to midnight except those located within 200 feet of a residential zone, which will be required to close by 10 p.m.
Cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, wholesaling, and delivery establishments will be permitted to operate 24 hours per day, except for those located within 200 feet of a residential zone where the hours of operations would be from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Violators will face fines of $500 per offense.
Employees hired to provide security at a cannabis business will be required to register with the city clerk.
Most Central Jersey municipalities have passed zoning ordinances not allowing retail sales though an overwhelming majority of state residents approved legalization in the November referendum.
Under state law, municipalities have until Aug. 22, six months after Gov. Phil Murphy signed the legalization legislation, to adopt ordinances to allow or prohibit marijuana businesses within their borders.
If a municipality does not adopt an ordinance, then marijuana businesses will be allowed for five years.
If a municipality passes an ordinance not allowing marijuana businesses, municipalities can change the ordinance at any time to allow sales.
Suzanne Russell is a breaking news reporter for MyCentralJersey.com covering crime, courts and other mayhem. To get unlimited access, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
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