Ordinance update clarifies where cannabis can be sold

WEST MILFORD. The Township Council clears the way for a Cannabis Establishment Overlay Zone off Route 23.

| 22 Jul 2022 | 11:16

Action to update a 2021 West Milford Zoning ordinance originally designed to determine where cannabis can be sold was taken up by the Township Council “to minimize confusion and better define parks, park areas or municipal grounds as park areas.” The vote was taken at a recent Township Council meeting.

To obtain a license a local cannabis business applicant must comply with the provisions of the township’s revised zoning ordinances. The revisions added a Cannabis Facility, Cannabis Establishment Overlay Zone.

All Council members were on board to approve the revision, but with slight changes in wording to clarify the document, as suggested by Councilman Michael Chazukow and Councilwoman Marilyn Lichtenberg. The only person to comment on the proposed amendment ordinance during the public hearing prior to adoption of the ordinance was Richard Randazzo of Wooley Road. Randazzo wanted assurance that dangers to children would not exist with licenses that were approved. He was especially concerned about locations near Paradise Knoll Elementary School, the only township school close to Route 23. The council saw no problem with acting on the ordinance before them.

A provision of the Cannabis Establishment Overlay Zone is that it must have direct access from State Route 23. The minimum lot area shall be two acres in residential zones, otherwise the underlying zone’s minimum lot size shall apply. Minimum front yard setback shall be 50 feet or the minimum zone standard, whichever is greater.

Screening must be implemented if any cannabis facility is within 50 feet, measured from building to building, of a residential use. All facilities shall be enclosed in heated/air-conditioned buildings, not in greenhouses, hoop houses or outdoors.

The facility shall provide an air treatment system with sufficient odor absorbing ventilation and exhaust systems such that an odor generated inside the facility is not detectable by a person of reasonable sensitivity at the property line of the subject property. Odor from the facility shall be monitored on an annual basis at the discretion of the township by a licensed, qualified contractor chosen by the township. The cannabis establishment owner shall pay for the cost of odor monitoring.

Signs shall be limited to the address, name of the company and emergency contact information located on one ground sign not to exceed 24 square feet. The facility must have a valid license to operate from the State of New Jersey. Any cannabis facility is subject to compliance with all state laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to cannabis licenses issued by the State of New Jersey.