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Eatontown council members show support for medical marijuana business

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EATONTOWN – The members of the Borough Council in Eatontown have passed a resolution supporting a medical cannabis facility’s potential application to become one of New Jersey’s marketplace classes of licensed marijuana businesses.

On Jan. 12, council members passed a resolution supporting the location and operation of the Garden State Dispensary as a retail cannabis facility. Located on Route 35, the facility provides medical cannabis and is operated by GSD, NJ, LLC (doing business as Garden State Dispensary).

Medical cannabis facilities in New Jersey are officially known as alternative treatment centers.

In 2019, the Compassionate Care Research Institute (CCRI) received a zoning permit from Eatontown to operate an alternative treatment center. The CCRI facility opened in 2020. Later that year, CCRI’s permit to operate was transferred to the Garden State Dispensary.

In 2021, state legislators approved the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act after New Jersey voters in 2020 approved a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana.

The state legislation legalized the recreational use (also known as adult use) of marijuana for certain adults; it decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana and hashish (a marijuana concentrate); and it removed marijuana as a Schedule I (high potential for abuse) drug.

The law established six marketplace classes of licensed marijuana businesses in New Jersey: cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer and delivery.

Following the state’s action, the members of the Borough Council adopted an ordinance to establish the locations where cannabis businesses will be permitted to operate and the standards by which a business operator may receive a license; only cannabis delivery businesses are not permitted to operate in the municipality. Under these regulations, up to three cannabis retail licenses may be issued in Eatontown.

As stated in the Jan. 12 resolution, the 2021 ordinance recognized the Garden State Dispensary’s alternative treatment center and its right to convert to a cannabis retail facility. If the operator of the Garden State Dispensary chooses to convert to a cannabis retail facility, it will count toward one of the three permitted cannabis retail businesses in the borough.

According to the resolution, a resolution of support from the Borough Council is required for an alternative treatment center to also become a cannabis retail facility. The resolution states that municipal officials believe it is in Eatontown’s best interests to provide a resolution of support for the Garden State Dispensary.

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