Hopewell Borough’s discussion on allowing one or more of the six class licenses of recreational cannabis is progressing as borough professionals are tasked with creating a draft ordinance.
At a March 3 Borough Council meeting, borough professionals were asked to craft a reasonable ordinance regarding the allowance of licenses within the borough.
The draft ordinance to start would not include buffers.
The draft ordinance was not presented at the meeting due to questions that still needed clarification and regulations that still needed to be discussed among the council members.
“A good example of that is the renewal period. There does not seem to be definition in what has been released so far from the state that does not say how to transition from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1,” Borough Administrator Michele Hovan said. “Everything is tied to the tax and that there cannot be a delinquent period in that, so if you had not paid your 2% tax by that date what happens to your license on Jan. 1? We also have regulations we need to flush out.”
There are six types of licenses the Cannabis Regulatory Commission can issue: Class 1 cultivator (grower), Class 2 manufacturer (processor), Class 3 wholesaler, Class 4 distributor, Class 5 retailer and Class 6 delivery service.
“There are policy questions and decisions to be made. For instance, do you want to open it up to multiple classes, or do you want one such license in of those categories or two of those categories?” said Lisa Maddox, attorney for Hopewell Borough. “And then we have to deal with the type of standards you want all of the licensees to comply with. There are real policy questions that need to be decided.”
In the early drafting of the ordinance the types of classes permitted were limited cultivator (grower), retailer and delivery service.
There are two zones of focus for the licenses the majority of the B-R Zone (Business Zone) and the Service Zone contained to Somerset Street.
Council President Charles “Sky” Morehouse said he is in favor of the borough being open to cultivator, manufacturer, retailer and delivery service licenses.
“I like Ryan’s [Councilman Ryan Kennedy] idea of getting some factual professional information about the smell and how easy it is to mitigate just so we have all the facts on our hands if we decide to expand it other classes,” said Councilwoman Debra Stuhler.
Hopewell Borough’s council adopted an opt-out ordinance that prohibited all six class licenses in the borough by the Aug. 21, 2021, deadline set by the state. The opt-out ordinance was adopted to allow the borough more time to discuss which licenses would be allowed to operate in the borough and for more guidance to be provided by the state.