Colts Neck officials ban cultivation, sale of cannabis in community

COLTS NECK – The members of the Colts Neck Township Committee have adopted an ordinance that prohibits the operation of any class of a cannabis licensed business in the municipality.

The ordinance includes language that will update eight sections of the municipal code. The legislation states that “the growing, cultivating, farming, manufacturing, distribution or selling of medical and/or recreational marijuana, and/or paraphernalia that facilities its use, shall be a prohibited principal, accessory or conditional use.”

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

Colts Neck officials previously banned the sale and production of marijuana in the township through two ordinances in 2018.

Municipal officials were required to take updated action in this matter in accordance with the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act, also known as A-21, which was approved by state legislators in February after New Jersey residents voted in 2020 to approve a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana.

The state legislation legalizes the use of recreational marijuana (also called adult use marijuana) for certain adults, subject to state regulation; it decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana and hashish (a marijuana concentrate); and it removes marijuana as a Schedule I (high potential for abuse) drug.

Colts Neck officials had the option to issue six types of licenses related to cannabis:

• Cannabis Cultivator license, for facilities involved in growing and cultivating cannabis;

• Cannabis Manufacturer license, for facilities involved in the manufacturing, preparation and packaging of cannabis items;

• Cannabis Wholesaler license, for facilities involved in obtaining and selling cannabis items for later resale by other licensees;

• Cannabis Distributor license, for businesses involved in transporting cannabis plants in bulk from one licensed cultivator to another licensed cultivator, or cannabis items in bulk from any type of licensed cannabis business to another;

• Cannabis Retailer license, for locations at which cannabis items and related supplies are sold to consumers;

• Cannabis Delivery license, for businesses providing courier services for consumer purchases that are fulfilled by a licensed cannabis retailer in order to make deliveries of the purchased items to a consumer; this service would include the ability of a consumer to make a purchase directly through the cannabis delivery service which would be presented by the delivery service for fulfillment by a retailer and then delivered to a consumer.

By law, the Township Committee may not prohibit the delivery of cannabis and/or cannabis supplies to addresses in the municipality by a delivery service that is based outside of Colts Neck.