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Monday, June 17, 2024

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Middle Gets Public Input on Cannabis Businesses

Marijuana Plant - Shutterstock

By Vince Conti

COURT HOUSE – Middle Township Committee June 21 devoted its work session to public comment on the advisability of cannabis businesses within the municipality. About a dozen citizens attended, most of whom supported controlled recreational marijuana sales within municipal boundaries.
Middle is already supporting the creation of a medical marijuana dispensary and cannabis cultivation business on Indian Trail Road, on the site of the old La Monica plant. 
After vetting INSA, a Massachusetts company, municipal officials passed a resolution supporting the company’s licensing application for the dispensary. Litigation has stalled state review of all new applications, delaying the decisions on awarding licenses.
While many of the county’s municipalities prohibited any class of cannabis business from establishing operations, not all are against allowing the emerging industry to set up shop. 
Most recently, Lower Township introduced an ordinance that would allow recreational cannabis retail sales and delivery.
Middle Township Mayor Timothy Donohue said the municipality is still considering the issue. He noted the potential revenue benefits, saying that state law would allow a municipal tax of 2% on revenue from retail activities and 1% on wholesale.
Bob Noel, a local business owner and past Middle Township Chamber of Commerce president, said he is not against new cannabis-related businesses in the municipality. 
“It may make sense to have a recreational dispensary here where the township can set the rules for how it will operate,” Noel said. “It might actually be the safest choice.
The municipality will have to formulate a policy soon, unless the state extends the 180 days for municipal actions. Without an extension, Middle must have an ordinance established by Aug. 21.

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