Cannabis businesses provide local benefits, Town of West Milford Council suggests

Wording of their resolutions and reception of cannabis businesses indicate this expectation.

| 20 Apr 2022 | 06:58

    Township of West Milford Council members’ recent actions show optimism that the new cannabis industry can provide substantial financial and social benefits to the township.

    Indications of this optimism appear in action by the Council to upgrade a cannabis law, approval of sites for cannabis sales businesses, and their response to Fu Mei Farms Corporation’s application to the Cannabis Regulatory Commission for a Micro Business Class 1 Cannabis cultivator license for property on Burnt Meadow Road.

    The township council members recently adopted a resolution supporting the Fu Mei Farms micro business and noted they are satisfied with the proposed location at 960 Burnt Meadow Road on Block 4061 lot 21. The resolution indicated council members’ expectation that cannabis businesses will have a positive impact on the township community and that the state of New Jersey action to legalize cultivation, manufacture, sale and distribution of recreational cannabis will likely spawn a significant industry throughout New Jersey.

    Approval by the council is subject to the receipt of a micro business class one cannabis cultivation license from the Cannabis Regulatory Commission and Fu Mei’s compliance with all local ordinances and issuance of all necessary state, municipal and local Planning Board or Zoning Board approvals to conduct the operation.

    In other cannabis- related action, the council was expected to pass a resolution this week to endorse Robert Martis’s interest in siting a retail cannabis depository at Block 5701 lot 7 on Marshall Hill Road.

    Council action to update an existing ordinance regarding cannabis businesses is also under way. Plans Wednesday were to introduce Ordinance 2022-023 to make a change. If the introduction proceeds, it is expected that a May public hearing date, followed by action on final passage of the ordinance will be announced.

    It was noted in the ordinance that the document update is intended to minimize confusion and better define “parks, park areas and municipal grounds” as park areas. The existing ordinance will be amended to “park,” in setting distances between any cannabis businesses and parks, schools and other cannabis businesses.

    The “park” definition included in the ordinance amendment is described as “areas larger than one acre used for active recreation, owned and managed by a government entity, and that have improvements such as athletic fields, playground equipment and/or pavilions.”

    Council resolutions affirm that the local governing board endorses adult use of the cannabis program in the state of New Jersey as well as the medical use program, which provides needed relief to many suffering from chronic or debilitating illnesses. The township supports safe and appropriate siting of a retail cannabis dispensary within the township community commercial zone where such businesses are permitted, to the extent consistent with applicable state and local status, rules, regulations and ordinances.