Bordentown City mayor releases guidelines for possible cannabis businesses

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Last week during the Bordentown City Board of Commissioners meeting, Mayor Jennifer Sciortino, Deputy Mayor Joe Myers and Commissioner James Lynch unanimously voted to pass an ordinance to allow a certain amount of cannabis businesses to operate in the city.

Sciortino issued a statement on Aug. 16 explaining the rules and regulations of the new ordinance, which mentioned the city creating a seven-member Cannabis Advisory Committee that would assist in the hiring process of cannabis businesses.

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The committee would be tasked to vet applicants on subjects such as workforce development, social justice, supporting community-based initiatives and improving the city’s overall quality of life.

“With cannabis now the law of the land throughout New Jersey, Bordentown City chose to opt in and craft a thorough ordinance so that we can control the establishment and licensing of businesses within our city limits – carefully balancing the city’s needs while giving businesses the best shot at succeeding,” Sciortino said in the statement.

“We’ve taken a measured approach to allow a limited number of businesses to locate in carefully targeted areas of our city, paving the way to revitalize several underutilized properties and provide long-term financial benefits to taxpayers and the city. We look forward to working with companies that have the community’s best interests at heart as this industry gets off the ground,” she said.

Out of the six marketplace classes given out by the state, Bordentown City will allow cannabis businesses that fall under Class 1 Cannabis Cultivator, Class 2 Cannabis Manufacturer, Class 5 Cannabis Retailer and Class 6 Cannabis Delivery.

Distribution and wholesale will not be permitted.

In addition to the Cannabis Advisory Committee, Sciortino released other factors that the city will use in its licensing process that included application and business fees.

There would be a $5,000 annual business registration, a $5,000 transfer fee, $10,000 upon sale, plus any penalties for violations.

She also said in the statement that the city would create a Local Host Agreement that businesses would need to oblige by to mitigate potential impacts and set forth support for community programs and workforce development initiatives.

Setting parameters for business hours to commence between 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and establishing security and environmental requirements, such as odor mitigation, will also be part of the licensing process.

As for where cannabis businesses can set up shop in the city, Sciortino said in the statement that there are “appropriate” zoning standards in the ordinance for where cannabis establishments will be permitted and to ensure prime access for businesses while protecting the city’s quality of life.

That means no cannabis operation in the city can operate within a drug-free school zone and within 1000 feet of another one.

Businesses cannot also have any signage that glorifies the use of cannabis around their stores.

All cannabis operations must comply with the existing zoning regulations that limit retail establishments to routes 130 and 206 to mitigate parking and traffic concerns and limit any cultivation and manufacturing to the industrial zone off Route 206 at Elizabeth Street.

Businesses will also have to adhere to current development standards and must obtain a site plan approval from the Planning Board.

There will be a 1% tax on medical cannabis sales and a 2% tax on recreational cannabis sales.

Prospective applicants looking to do business in Bordentown City should visit the city’s website for future updates on the next steps.

 

 

 

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