Freehold Borough extends deadline for cannabis business license approvals

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FREEHOLD — Municipal officials have approved an extension for the deadline of the provisional award of cannabis licenses to potential businesses in Freehold Borough.

On Dec. 19, Borough Council members passed a resolution extending the award of the cannabis licenses from Dec. 31, 2022 to July 1, 2023.

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According to the resolution, Freehold Borough received three responses for cannabis retailer licenses, one response for a cannabis cultivator license and two responses for a cannabis manufacturer license.

Borough officials awarded cannabis retailer licenses to Monmouth Wellness and Healing, LLC (doing business as NJ Leaf) and Goldfinch Retail NJ, LLC (doing business as Goldfinch); a cannabis cultivator license to CSDE Manufacturing, LLC; and cannabis manufacturer licenses to CSDE Manufacturing and Prest Gunther Family Manufacturing (doing business as PGFM) in May, according to the resolution.

The business owned by NJ Leaf is a medical cannabis dispensary which was granted a cannabis retail license under the terms of the borough’s cannabis ordinance. The NJ Leaf medical cannabis dispensary is under construction at 546 Park Ave. (Route 33).

As stated in the council’s resolution, the cannabis licenses must be approved by the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC). Prior to the passage of the resolution, the borough’s award of the cannabis licenses would have expired on Dec. 31 if the businesses did not receive approval from the CRC by that date.

“The CRC has not granted its approval for these entities due to no fault of their own and the borough wishes to extend the provisional awards,” officials wrote in the resolution.

If the cannabis businesses do not receive approval from the CRC by July 1, 2023, they will be required to submit a new application, according to the resolution.

In accordance with the terms of Freehold Borough’s cannabis business ordinance, cannabis retailers will be permitted to operate in commercial manufacturing zones and modified commercial zones on lots fronting Throckmorton Street, and between the intersection of Throckmorton and Rhea streets west to the borough limits; in office commercial zones, limited professional office zones and general commercial zones on lots fronting Park Avenue (Route 33) and between the intersection of Park Avenue and South Street east to the borough limits; and commercial manufacturing zones and general commercial zones on lots fronting Jerseyville Avenue and between the intersection of Jerseyville Avenue and Parker Street east to the borough limits.

Cannabis cultivators and manufacturers will only be permitted to operate in the commercial manufacturing district.

Cannabis cultivators and manufacturers would each have to pay a $10,000 annual license fee, while cannabis retailers would each have to pay a $5,000 annual license fee. Under the terms of the cannabis ordinance, a maximum of two licenses will be issued for each business type.

Cannabis cultivators, manufacturers and retailers would each have a 2% business sales tax in Freehold Borough, under the terms of the cannabis ordinance.

Freehold Borough officials established regulations regarding cannabis businesses following the enactment of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act.

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