Hillsborough’s Township Committee introduced an ordinance prohibiting marijuana sales within the township.
The ordinance, which was introduced at the committee meeting on April 27, prohibits cannabis establishments, delivery services and distributors from operating anywhere within the Township of Hillsborough, except for the delivery of cannabis and related supplies by a delivery service.
“This ordinance will enable us to evaluate marijuana sales and usage in other communities so we can make an informed judgement on how to approach the same in Hillsborough,” Mayor Shawn Lipani said in a prepared statement. “It is a quality of life issue intended to act in the best interest of Hillsborough residents, families, business owners and visitors to the township, in regard to health, safety and welfare.”
On Feb. 22, Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law 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 recreational (adult use) cannabis operations, use and possession.
The law allows municipalities 180 days – until Aug. 21 – to take action to either prohibit or limit the number, location and operating hours of cannabis establishments, distributors, and delivery services. If municipalities do not take action within 180 days, by default all six license classes of cannabis would be permitted to operate in the municipality in both commercial and industrial zones as a conditional use.
Municipalities that pass an ordinance within 180 days to ban cannabis establishments or distributor operations can, at any time, reverse that decision and opt-in.
However, once a municipality permits cannabis establishment or distributor operations in their community, the municipality may not opt-out for 5 years.
This ordinance in Hillsborough does not prohibit residents from partaking in cannabis usage on their own property, private club or as the law permits, but it will enable lawmakers to gather more information on how to best approach marijuana sales and usage in the community, according to the statement.
The public is invited to discuss the proposed ordinance at the Township Committee meeting on May 25.