EAST BRUNSWICK – The Township Council issued an ordinance to accept various changes from the Planning Committee regarding marijuana businesses in the East Brunswick community.
Township Attorney Michael Baker said state law requires that every time a community issues a zoning ordinance, it must first be sent to the planning agency for review and comment. Then it goes back to the council.
Baker said the council adopted this ordinance two weeks ago and referred it to the board of directors. The board met last week and recommended some minor changes to the ordinance, cleaning up a section by deleting 11 words that it approved and recommended to the board’s attorney.
Because medical marijuana facilities must be 300 yards from a public school, Baker said another revision the board has requested adds that those facilities are also 300 yards from private schools, preschools, daycare or schools that are using are connected to the house of God.
Regarding adult recreational marijuana use, New Jersey voters approved Public Question # 1 in 2020, which amended the New Jersey Constitution to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called cannabis for adults aged 21 or over Years to enable.
On February 22nd, Governor Phil Murphy signed the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance and Marketplace Modernization Act, which legalizes the recreational use of marijuana by adults aged 21 and over and introduces a comprehensive system of regulation and licensing for the commercial operation, use and possession of cannabis by adults.
Baker said this ordinance gives the community time to figure out what the cannabis commission will develop in terms of rules and regulations.
“She takes no position on whether or not we should use recreational marijuana in town,” Baker said. “It just affirms that you can use medical marijuana in certain limited sales of medical marijuana in certain limited areas that have been on the books for probably five years.”
Baker said this gives the community time to wait for the state commission involved in the regulations to develop those regulations.
“[Due to] The board sending the regulations back should, if the council wants to accept these regulations, request the council to amend them to accept the planning committee regulations, ”Baker said. “We then need a second reading and because there will be no more second reading, it would only be a first reading. There would be no public hearing on this … instead, the public hearing would be at our first live meeting on July 12th. … There will be a motion to amend the regulation to accept the changes. “
By unanimous vote, the council approved the amendment to the ordinance to accept the changes made by the board of directors on June 28 during the council meeting via video conference regarding medical marijuana companies in the community.
The second and last reading is on July 12th in person at the district court in the Dr.
During the meeting’s public commentary, some residents expressed their approval and disagreement with the council, which may have voted to allow recreational marijuana deals with the community.
“Medical marijuana is fine. … My husband, who died of bone cancer, had access to the [dispensary] in Cranbury, New Jersey, but when we talk about recreational cannabis use we don’t need to open doors for it. We are not. Why do you think the New Jersey state liquor licenses are regulated and there have been so many and they are precious to get? … Let’s talk about the people of East Brunswick, let’s not let this happen in our town, period, ”said resident Camille Clark.
David Herrera, resident and Republican Township Council candidate, said he believes medicinal cannabis has many benefits; however, he urged members of the council to carefully consider allowing recreational marijuana facilities with the community.
“It’s not something we can choose to later on… it’s something we can’t refuse for five years. So I beg … councilors … because someone who’s sober for four years understands what recreational drugs do to families, what they do to communities, what they do to their members [and] what it does to the residents of the city, ”said Herrera. “The tax money isn’t there. The last concern of the city council should be to generate more tax revenue. We should talk about how we’re going to make East Brunswick a better city. “
Resident Shannon Christie said she was a medical marijuana user because of chronic pain.
“We should be known for our farm towns. As we all know, marijuana is a plant. Also, we have people who come here for our doctors [and] for our pharmacies. Why shouldn’t they get their other medicines from our farms? ”Said Christie. “That’s the other thing you would do, because people who get clean medicine want clean food. So we would keep people in our community. We wouldn’t make people shop in our local stores. We would be people who would keep people here longer. That’s what we want. “
Resident Alexander Spielman said he is personally in favor of medical marijuana use, but he also believes the council needs to bring this to the community in some form of referendum. It’s an important decision, and it’s a long-lasting situation too.
“The only thing I really want the council to consider is that this be brought up because of its far-reaching implications for the city and when there is a tax there will be some form of compensation for the people who actually are. ” to use it for their medicinal uses, ”Spielman said.
“[Also], possibly reinvesting in mental health and people dealing with substance abuse so their money can be used to help those struggling with the high tax law, the high cost of getting sobriety and just the general Difficulty dealing with substance abuse, ”he said.
More information is available at www.eastbrunswick.org/AgendaCenter.
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