Old Bridge NJ doubles total ban on marijuana trade

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OLD BRIDGE – City council has once again banned recreational and medical marijuana companies that manufacture, sell or distribute weed-related accessories from operating here.

The council approved an ordinance at its meeting on Tuesday that amends the “prohibited uses” section of the land use planning code. Councilor Edina Brown voted against the ordinance and Councilor John Murphy III abstained. City councilor Mark Razzoli was not present.

The ordinance prohibits all categories of establishments, distributors and delivery services of cannabis, whether for medicinal or recreational purposes, including establishments that manufacture, sell or dispense cannabis-related accessories, from operate in the canton.

The ordinance also states that marijuana or cannabis cultivation facilities, production or manufacturing facilities, testing facilities, wholesale or retail stores, dispensaries and delivery services, which are related to the cannabis or marijuana for medical purposes, and facilities or stores that manufacture, sell or distribute accessories related to medical marijuana, are prohibited from operating in the township.

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The order does not prohibit the delivery of recreational or medical cannabis or related items or supplies from a delivery service located outside the Township.

Township attorney Mark Roselli explained that when the state passed a law to legalize cannabis, municipalities were given the option to join or opt out before August 22.

Under state law, if municipalities did not pass a marijuana zoning ordinance by August 22, six months after legalization took effect, marijuana businesses would be allowed to operate. in a municipality for five years.

However, a municipality could revoke a ban at any time. If the township does not pass the ordinance, it would not be allowed to ban marijuana businesses for at least five years.

Roselli said that at present, an overwhelming majority of New Jersey municipalities have banned it.

There are a lot of unknowns, he says.

He said regulations regarding the legislation are not expected to be released until Aug. 22, around the same time municipalities have to decide.

He said he thinks “a lot of municipalities didn’t think it was in their best interests to act in the dark.”

Roselli said the state has given municipalities a short deadline to act.

Because it’s a land use ordinance, it’s a bit more complicated, he said.

Prior to the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey, city council in 2018 approved an ordinance prohibiting businesses from selling, distributing, cultivating, and facilitating the use of recreational and / or medicinal marijuana.

The previous ordinance amended the “prohibited use” section of the Land Use Planning Code to include “businesses selling, distributing, cultivating, cultivating and / or facilitating the sale and / or use of recreational marijuana and / or medicinal, including any auxiliary or related accessory ”.

Under the new state law, all existing municipal ordinances regulating or banning cannabis are void and must be re-enacted to be effective.

Municipalities are also not allowed to prohibit residents from consuming marijuana, according to state law.

Hugh Giordano, a representative of Local 152 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, opposed the ban because it “hurts good jobs.”

Edward “Lefty” Grimes with SativaCross.org, which advocates for the sick and disabled, said “this ordinance is very hurtful to disabled vets.”

“It also includes medical cannabis,” he said. “I don’t understand why you would want to disrupt the supply chain for medicines for the sick and dying.

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Susan Rent covers Middlesex County and more for MyCentralJersey.com. To get unlimited access to his work, please register or activate your digital account today.

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