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Colts Neck officials ban sale of marijuana by business operators

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COLTS NECK – The Township Committee has adopted an ordinance that bans business operators from selling medical marijuana and so-called recreational/adult use marijuana in Colts Neck.

The ordinance was adopted on Aug. 8 in a 4-0 vote. Mayor J.P. Bartolomeo and committeemen Russell Macnow, Frank Rizzuto and Michael Viola voted “yes” on a motion to adopt the ordinance. Deputy Mayor Thomas Orgo was absent from the meeting.

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Public hearings were held at the committee’s July 19 and Aug. 8 meetings to give residents an opportunity to voice their opinions on the issue. On Aug. 8, one resident said she attended the meeting to show her support for the ordinance. No one commented at the July 19 meeting.

The ordinance states that Colts Neck “desires to ensure that such facilities that dispense marijuana or cultivate marijuana are not within a quarter-mile of a school, church, park, commercial business or any zone permitting single-family residential as a permitted principal use.”

It states that “there is no area in the township which can safely house a business selling, manufacturing or growing marijuana and/or the paraphernalia that facilitates the use of such marijuana.”

The law states that “the Township Committee finds it is in the best interest of the township and general public welfare to ban all businesses selling marijuana and/or paraphernalia facilitating the use of marijuana, and the growing or manufacturing of marijuana within the township.”

The ordinance states that “the growing, cultivating, farming, manufacturing, distribution, or selling of medical and/or recreational marijuana and/or paraphernalia that facilitates its use shall be a prohibited principal, accessory or conditional use.”

Township Attorney Meghan Bennett-Clark previously said the ordinance does not ban the use of Cannabidiol (CBD oil) because it is already legal.

Cannabidiol is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned” and can counteract the psychoactivity of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), according to projectcbd.org.

In other business on Aug. 8, committee members awarded a $1.331 million contract to MECO Inc. of Millstone Township for the second phase of the township’s road program. MECO’s bid was the lowest of seven responsive bids. The highest bid submitted to municipal officials totaled $1.582 million.

This portion of the road improvement project will cover about 4 miles of municipal roads and cul-de-sacs.

Township Administrator Kathleen Capristo said Phase II will address the following roads: Cedar Drive from Heyers Mill Road to Bucks Mill Road; 1,950 feet of Bucks Mill Road starting from Route 537; Amsterdam Court; Pheasant Drive; Slope Brook Lane; Stone Hill Road East from Five Points Road to Millpond Lane; Provincial Place from Tulip Lane to Ridge Road; The Enclosure East; portions of Bluebell Road and Freemont Lane; Evergreen Lane; Talleyrand Drive; and Applethorn Court.

Capristo said the list is subject to change.

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