Hopewell Township’s public hearing on amended cannabis ordinance moved to December


Hopewell Township has delayed a public hearing to amend an ordinance that moves some conditional requirements to development standards for cannabis retailers.

The Township Committee was set to hold the public hearing on Nov. 28, but the hearing was moved to Dec. 19, after the Planning Board cancelled its Nov. 17 meeting and could not review the ordinance prior to the end of the month Township Committee meeting.

The ordinance that was introduced on Nov. 14 moves conditional requirements to development standards for cannabis retailers, which will keep the applicants before the Planning Board.

Odor control and traffic are two of several conditional requirements that are proposed to become standards.

If the conditional requirements remain as conditional uses instead of standards, the applicant will have to go before the Zoning Board for a use variance, according to township officials

Officials said they want to keep the applications before the Planning Board, which was their original intent. The proposed revisions to the conditional requirements keep the applicants before the Planning Board.

The conditional uses for retailers that remains include what commercial zones they are allowed to be in, the holding of a Class 5 license, location is at least 1,000 feet from schools, playgrounds, and athletic fields, and cannabis delivery service will only be allowed if it is on the same premises as the cannabis retailer and there is a Class 6 license approved by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission.

Additional prohibitions include onsite consumption or use of cannabis, and no cannabis retail prices, or products are allowed to be visible from the outside of the building.

Under additional development standards, there are hours of operation, parking, site access, odor control, signage and security.

Only two cannabis retailers are allowed to operate in Hopewell Township, according to the township.

Also, cannabis delivery services are only permitted by the township if the services are located and owned by a cannabis retail business.

Cannabis retailers and delivery services are able to operate in the neighborhood retail commercial district (C-1), highway business and office district (HBO), shopping center district (SC), shopping center 1 district (SC1), and the industrial and commercial district, officials said.

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