Middle Township Says Yes to Cannabis Retailer | Local News

MIDDLE TOWNSHIP — The township committee unanimously approved two cannabis-related ordinances on Wednesday, one to allow a single cannabis retail license in the township and another establishing a framework for how the municipality will assess license applications.

This order also sets a non-refundable fee of $2,500 for reviewing applications for cannabis business support.

Under New Jersey cannabis regulations, a demonstration of municipal support is part of the state license application process. So far, only companies that already had a license to distribute cannabis to those with medical marijuana cards have been allowed to sell in the new recreational market, meaning there are no dispensaries. in Cape May County.

Middle Township acted cautiously on legal grass. The township committee backed a request for a medical marijuana facility, but last summer approved an ordinance banning all retail sales for the adult consumer market.

“I thought as a group you were not supportive of the sale of recreational marijuana in the township. Now it looks like you are, with some restrictions,” resident Stanley Doniger said at the meeting. “Could you help me understand what made you change your mind?”

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“I have never been publicly opposed to a dispensary in Middle Township,” Mayor Tim Donohue replied. Rather, he said, the township did not have enough information about the state rules under which the new market would operate before the state-imposed deadline of Aug. 22 for cities are taking action on the matter.

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He said cities that have enacted strict rules, such as Middle Township’s ban on retail sales, could relax those rules later, but could not enact stricter rules once they do. would have voted to authorize the sales.

The state has established six licensing categories for the recreational cannabis market. Last October, the township approved the authorization of the cultivation and manufacture of cannabis products in the township.

The new order would authorize a class five license, allowing sales to customers over 21.

In many communities, governing bodies have restricted cannabis businesses to specific locations. Middle Township chose to leave that up to the business owner. According to Donohue, the business would be allowed in any commercial area, as long as it adheres to established zoning restrictions and state laws.

Several potential business owners have inquired about locating a cannabis dispensary in the township, Donohue said. Several seaside communities, including each of the Wildwoods, have said no to allowing cannabis sales, so the township could one day be a prime location for summer business.

West Cape May and Lower Township have also said yes to allowing weed retail, and West Cape May has already approved two applications. As Donohue said, West Cape May has a head start, but even then, he said, the first store likely won’t be open for at least a year.

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The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission has begun issuing licenses for grow facilities that will stock the new legal market. Cannabis retailers will not be able to import anything from other states; it must be grown in New Jersey or the companies will violate federal law.

Massachusetts-based cannabis company Insa plans to locate a medical marijuana and recreational cannabis grow facility on Indian Trail Road in the Goshen section of the township, on the site of a former seafood processing plant .

Steve Reilly, the company’s co-owner, attended Wednesday’s meeting but did not speak publicly. After the meeting, he said plans were being finalized for the building, but the project is still awaiting license approval from the Cannabis Regulatory Commission. He said he might hear more this summer.

He said his company might be interested in applying for the dispensary license in the township. Once the township government has granted its support for a license application, it would still need approval from the Cannabis Regulatory Commission.

At the meeting, Donohue said the township will continue to move slowly on the issue. If retail cannabis proves to be a good fit, he suggested the committee could consider authorizing additional licenses in the future.

Communities are allowed to add local taxes to cannabis sales, which could mean an increase in future budgets.

Contact Bill Barlow:


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