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Howell cannabis ordinance tabled until council’s July 13 meeting

HOWELL – The members of the Howell Township Council have tabled an ordinance that would, if adopted, prohibit cannabis businesses from operating in the community.

The ordinance was introduced on May 25 and scheduled for a public hearing and possible vote for adoption on June 15.

However, on June 15, Township Manager Brian Geoghegan said the members of the Howell Planning Board have not had an opportunity to review the proposed ordinance.

Given that development, the council members tabled the public hearing and possible vote to adopt the ordinance until their July 13 meeting.

In a November 2020 ballot question, residents of New Jersey voted to legalize adult use (also called recreational) cannabis. In Monmouth County, 244,576 residents voted “yes” and 128,276 residents voted “no” on the legalization question.

In the wake of the referendum, state legislators have taken steps to enact the cannabis legalization process.

Municipal officials in each New Jersey community now have the option to prohibit or to permit the production and/or sale of cannabis within their borders. A decision must be made by Aug. 21.

If local officials prohibit a cannabis delivery company from operating within their borders, they may not, by law, prohibit the delivery of cannabis products in their community by a company that is based outside the municipality.

The purpose of the proposed Howell ordinance “is to regulate the marketplace class of licensed recreational cannabis businesses and to codify a prohibition on all six marketplace classes of cannabis establishments … cannabis cultivator, cannabis manufacturer, cannabis wholesaler, cannabis retailer, cannabis distributor and cannabis delivery service.”

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