WM council supports amended cannabis law, supports business

West. Milford The West Milford Township Council is considering an ordinance to to allow retail cannabis sales in the township and also has a resolution in support of one such business on the agenda for its next meeting.

| 19 Oct 2021 | 12:15

An amended ordinance addressing zoning entitled “Medical and Recreational Cannabis Activity” and also a resolution in support of the Demeter Investment Group LLC Cannabis Business were on the Township of West Milford council meeting agenda for action earlier this week.

The local governing board members had made their support of the actions known at earlier workshop discussions. They are looking to having cannabis sales bring revenue to the township treasury to help burdened taxpayers pay their bills.

The council resolution said that the governing body members support Demeter Investment Group LLC and their planned cannabis business at Block 14605, Lot 4.04 and having zoning board approval with conditions. The resolution would take effect immediately after passage by the council. According to Internet information the property is located on Route 23 in Newfoundland.

In 2020 New Jersey Voters approved a public question that amended the New Jersey Constitution to allow for the legalization of a controlled form of marijuana called “cannabis” for adults at least 21 years of age.

It is noted in the resolution that this year in February Governor Murphy signed into law P.L. 2021 c. 16, known as the “New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and marketplace Modernization Act which legalizes the recreational use of marijuana by adults 21 years of age or older, and establishes a comprehensive regulatory and licensing scheme for commercial (adult use) cannabis operations, use and possession.

“The Mayor and Township Council of the Township of West Milford find that Cannabis Cultivation is a viable and valuable commercial enterprise that should be promoted within the Township of West Milford,” the document states.

It pointed out that the local governing board has adopted an ordinance providing licenses for Class 1 Cannabis Cultivation, Class 2 Cannabis Manufacturing, Class 3 Cannabis Wholesaler, Class 4 Cannabis Distribution, Class 5 Cannabis Retailer and Class 6 Cannabis Delivery.

“Demeter Investment Group LLC requests the support of the governing body of the Township of West Milford in expectation of their planned cannabis business, having secured a location within the Township of West Milford, and having received Zoning Board approval with conditions,” The resolution continued.

Demeter Investment Group LLC has also retained the services of Sapphire Risk Advisory Group to assist in designing a security program as to a dispensary in the township, the document said.

The amended ordinance new section had minor changes including a $500 discount for veterans and a $500 discount for microbusinesses. The application fee is $2,500 for the first year and then $1,500 for renewal in every class. The license limit is 10 per class but could be changed, Administrator William Senande explained when the amended ordinance was being discussed in September. He said the state has limited the largescale growers to 37 but there is no limit on the microbusinesses.

During that discussion, Councilman Michael Chazukow said he did not favor prohibiting cannabis consumption areas but he is in favor of a “bud bar” where people are allowed to smoke. He said he believes the businesses should get up and running without waiting for the council to fine tune things.