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Middle Prohibits Recreational Cannabis Establishments

Marijuana Plant - Shutterstock

By Vince Conti

COURT HOUSE – The state deadline for municipal actions regarding the emerging regulated cannabis industry is approaching. 
If a town fails to restrict one or all of the six classes of businesses the state defined by Aug. 21, it will have to wait five years to do so. 
Middle Township Aug. 2 adopted its ordinance, with Mayor Timothy Donohue saying the municipality could not wait for clarity on state regulations for the businesses.
Earlier this year, Trenton passed legislation that both legalized and decriminalized recreational marijuana use. What the state has not yet done is make public the regulations that will govern the licensed cultivators, manufacturers, retailers and distributors of legal recreational marijuana.
Middle supported the license bid of an out-of-state company interested in opening a medical marijuana facility in the municipality. It remains supportive of the proposed facility, but the license approval process has not concluded.
There is not yet a process for companies that wish to participate in the retail or wholesale aspects of legal recreational marijuana. No one knows when the state will have the rules ready that will regulate this new industry.
Middle’s adopted ordinance prohibits the operation of any class of recreational use of cannabis businesses within the geographic boundaries of the municipality.Donohue said the municipality may revisit that decision after state regulations are clear since state law will allow a lessening of municipal restrictions.

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