(VIDEO) Lebanon Township Continues Cannabis Talks; looks at retail sales

LEBANON TWP. – The community committee, at its committee meeting on Wednesday June 16, discussed approving retail cannabis sales and cannabis delivery stores in the retail business district on the Route 31 corridor.

Local attorney Matt Lyons said at an earlier meeting that the state Senate bill introduced six classes of licensed businesses, including a cannabis strain license for establishments that grow and cultivate cannabis; Cannabis manufacturer license for facilities involved in the manufacture, preparation and packaging of cannabis items; Cannabis wholesaler license for establishments that procure and sell cannabis items for later resale by other licensees; Cannabis distribution license for companies that transport cannabis plants in bulk from one licensed breeder to another licensed breeder, or cannabis items in bulk from any type of licensed cannabis company to another; Cannabis retail license for locations where cannabis items and related supplies are sold to consumers and a cannabis delivery license for companies providing courier services for consumer purchases.

Alderman Abe Abuchowski, a member of the cannabis subcommittee, said it might be considered for the community to allow retail and delivery businesses along the Route 31 corridor.

“The easiest thing for us would be not to allow anything, but I think the Lebanon Township has something we should perhaps consider allowing grades five and six,” Abuchowski said. “Our business district is on the outskirts of the city on Route 31, and it’s a very small business district. There won’t be many potential businesses, but so many communities around us have decided not to allow anything, and the fact that Route 31 is a corridor means that the community could make money by opening a business there. “

Abuchowski said that given that people are allowed to have cannabis delivered to their doors, there is unstoppable movement into the township.

“No matter what we do, it won’t stop cannabis use in the township, and since the business district is on Route 31, most of it (the business generated from selling cannabis) will be temporary,” Abuchowski said.

“We can at least do something with it (legislation),” said Abuchowski.

Mayor Mike Schmidt added that the community would ban the first four lines of business because of the deal during the joint meeting of the community committee and planning committee on Tuesday the 4th.

“I thought during the planning committee meeting we were discussing a temporary deregistration to await further instructions from the cannabis commission,” said Councilor Beverly Koehler.

Councilor Koehler was referring to a meeting at which township engineer Ted Bayer warned that the township should continue looking at cannabis cultivation before making a decision.

“The planning committee has advised the township committee to log off,” said Köhler. “The New Jersey League of Municipalities is urging communities to de-register until the Cannabis Commission gives us the home rule. If you read the Clinton City Ordinance, it is a good example of what is being done. “

Koehler referred to the ordinances of the Town of Clinton, whose mayor Janice Kovach is currently president of the community union. During Clinton’s city council meeting on Wednesday June 9th, the council unanimously passed an ordinance to refuse to allow cannabis deals in their city. Pursuant to Clinton’s ordinance, given the current uncertainties about the potential future impact that licensing one or more classes of cannabis businesses could have on the City of Clinton, the City Council has determined that it is in the best interests of the health, safety and wellbeing of the city, to ban all marijuana-related land use and development in the city.

Abuchowski said although there were uncertainties about the future of the law, he “didn’t think anything would change”.

“We have (limited) impact on our community (by allowing licenses in the business district) and we potentially generate tax revenue,” said Schmidt.

Councilor Marc Laul expressed concern that the strong arm of the state would step in and override house rules if a majority of the municipalities refused.

“I worry that the state will step in and take power while all of these communities log out,” Laul said. “You can come in and say we’re taking power and overriding all of our laws.”

Councilor Laul suggested that Attorney Lyons should issue two ordinances, one denying the community’s approval of cannabis stores and another allowing grades five and six to be licensed.

“That way, we have two weeks to do more research and find good direction that we think is acceptable for this area,” said Laul.

If the community committee decided to approve the licensing, it is bound by this decision for five years. If the committee has decided to opt out, they can re-enroll at any time.

The cannabis regulation is to be voted on in the committee meeting on Wednesday, July 7th.

The community committee has decided to continue to allow residents to drop off an unlimited number of air conditioners during the electronics recycling event.

You also voted to start recycling tires as part of the clean-up day. The residents are allowed to bring four tires free of charge. If a resident has more than four tires, they must call the municipal office to make an appointment for the tire to be returned. Tire recycling takes place according to the first-come-first-serve principle.

The community committee decided unanimously to confirm the annual audit.

“The auditor found that (the municipality) had no significant financial weaknesses and no significant non-compliance issues. There were no recommendations, ”said Schmidt.

They also unanimously passed two resolutions to renew the retail concession license for El Patron and The New Hampton Inn.

The committee decided to donate $ 95,000 to the fire department. This is an annual donation.

Township Administrator Jamie Barbiero said he had spoken to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the township should receive the funds for the new loader within the next two weeks. In the meantime, an order for the loader has been placed.

The next meeting of the community committee will be on Wednesday, July 7th at 7:00 p.m. in the community building at 530 West Hill Road. The sessions will no longer be available via conference call.

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