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Passaic tweaks cannabis regulations on home delivery, vets plans for cultivators

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In Passaic, entrepreneurs can grow, manufacture, package, wholesale and, in the newest incarnation of its marijuana ordinance, even deliver cannabis products. They just can't sell it at retail.  "No municipality in the state can prohibit the delivery to homes," Mayor Hector Lora said. Because New Jersey requires cities to allow cannabis delivery, the City Council introduced an amendment to its ordinance Tuesday to make it clear that home delivery is acceptable. The mayor said the city is dotting the i's to make sure its ordinance, which permits the cultivation, manufacturing and wholesaling of cannabis, follows state law.  It has high hopes that it will be able to land cannabis growers and the jobs that should come with such businesses. 

Passaic has set aside the eastern portion of the city around Market Street as an area where it would permit the cultivation, manufacture and wholesale sales of cannabis products. 

Gov. Phil Murphy signed the state's new marijuana legalization rules into law on Feb. 22. According to initial rules established by the state's Cannabis Regulatory Commission, in the first two years after that, New Jersey will issue no more than 37 cultivator licenses, although more licenses will be allowed for "microbusiness cultivators" limited to 1,000 plants and 2,500 square feet of operations.

Lora added that Passaic has a strong chance of getting two of the expected first 16 cultivation licenses to be issued.   

"There's 12 large and four smaller," he said. "I am confident that we will get one large and one small.At least a dozen people interested in cultivating have contacted the city, the mayor said. Most, however, hadn't done their due diligence. 

"They all went up in smoke," he said.

There are two strong contenders, however, city officials said.

City Business Administrator Rick Fernandez said both are interested in using space at Big Apple West, a large, multistory warehouse on Market Street. 

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