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Keyport accepting applications for cannabis business licenses

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KEYPORT – Municipal officials in Keyport are accepting applications from individuals and/or entities that may eventually be licensed to operate cannabis businesses in the borough.

The application for a municipal cannabis business license is posted on the borough’s website. Individuals and/or entities that are seeking to establish a cannabis business in Keyport must submit the application to the borough clerk’s office by March 23.

According to the application, an initial $5,000 fee is required. Applicants must also submit documentation from the borough’s zoning officer which indicates the proposed site for a cannabis business complies with Keyport’s cannabis ordinance and any other municipal zoning laws and location restrictions.

Completed applications will be sent to the Keyport Police Department for a background check.

After an application has been reviewed and approved by the police, the borough’s cannabis subcommittee will review the application and make a recommendation to the Borough Council as to whether a license should be granted or denied.

The cannabis subcommittee will interview the applicant as part of the review, according to the application.

Once the cannabis subcommittee’s review has been completed, the applicant will be invited to make a presentation before the Borough Council and members of the public and respond to questions raised.

The cannabis subcommittee will make a recommendation on the applicant at the next Borough Council meeting.

The award of a municipal cannabis business license will be made contingent upon the applicant receiving a state license and meeting all applicable state and local requirements, according to the application.

Following the passage of A-21, a state bill that legalizes the recreational use (also known as adult use) of marijuana by certain adults, the council adopted an ordinance that established locations in Keyport where cannabis businesses will be permitted to operate and the standards by which the operators of cannabis businesses may receive a license.

According to the ordinance, A-21 established six marketplace classes of licensed marijuana businesses: cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer and delivery.

Under the guidelines of Keyport’s ordinance, cannabis retailers and delivery services will be permitted to operate in the Highway Commercial zoning district, in the Industrial zoning district and on specific lots in the General Commercial zoning district.

Two cannabis retailers will not be permitted to operate in the same zoning district, according to the ordinance.

According to the ordinance, cannabis cultivators, distributors, manufacturers and wholesalers will only be permitted to operate in the Industrial zoning district.

No type of cannabis business will be permitted to operate within 250 feet of a licensed childcare facility or a residential childcare facility; nor within 250 feet of any public or private elementary school, middle school, high school, college or university; nor within 150 feet of any church, synagogue, temple or other place used exclusively for religious worship; nor in or upon the same premises of businesses that engage in retail food sales or retail alcoholic beverage sales, according to the ordinance.

Cannabis cultivators and cannabis manufacturers will each be required to pay an annual license fee of $10,000.

The annual license fee to be paid by cannabis wholesalers, distributors, retailers and delivery services will be $5,000.

Two licenses will be permitted for each type of cannabis business.

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