South River allows marijuana grow facilities, but no retail
SOUTH RIVER – The borough will allow licensed facilities to grow and process marijuana wholesale, but will not permit retail pot stores to open.
The Borough Council unanimously approved two ordinances earlier this month that allow certain licensed marijuana facilities to operate in nonresidential areas in the borough.
"By allowing this, you're bringing in manufacturing, which is the largest tax revenue this town will actually see," Councilman Peter Guindi said. "Besides what the town may implement once this does come into our town, the state actually not only supersedes us, but they have even stricter rules and regulations. I can tell you that this is something where it's not going to be a storefront, nobody's going to be allowed in it."
It's going to be "so discreet" you won't know it exists, he said.
"Right now, we're going after the manufacturing part of it, which I think is probably the most cleanest and straightforward part of the cannabis," he said.
"Only two businesses will be permitted in the borough, although the two businesses can hold up to four licenses each, pending state approvals," Guindi later said.
The classes of cannabis licenses permitted in the borough are: Class 1 cannabis cultivator license for facilities involved in growing and cultivating cannabis; Class 2 cannabis manufacture license for facilities involved in the manufacturing, preparation and packaging of cannabis items; Class 3 cannabis wholesaler license for facilities involved in obtaining and selling cannabis items for later resale by other licensees; Class 4 cannabis distributor license for businesses involved in transporting cannabis plants in bulk from one licensed cultivator to another licensed cultivator or cannabis items in bulk from any type of licensed cannabis business to another; and Class 6 cannabis delivery license.
All classes of licenses are prohibited from operating within 200 feet of any church, public school or private school not conducted for pecuniary profit. In addition, no occupancy may occur, or no licensed cannabis operation may begin until all required licenses for such use are obtained from the state and borough.
No licensee can operate a cannabis facility on weekdays between 2 and 7 a.m. and on Sundays between 2 a.m. and noon.
No outdoor growing or processing would be permitted. All activities would occur inside an enclosed and permanent building. No production would be permitted inside a vehicle, shipping container, trailer or movable or mobile structure and a licensed cannabis facility cannot be part of a home office or home occupation.
In addition, no facility shall be permitted to have a physical reserve of cash, currency, or other monies in excess of $5,000.
Other requirements include that the building be equipped with a ventilation or other system to prevent cannabis odors from emanating from the interior of the facility.
A tax would be paid to the borough by cannabis growers, processors and wholesalers.
Under state law, if municipalities do not adopt a marijuana zoning ordinance by Aug. 22, six months after legalization went into effect, marijuana businesses would be allowed to operate in the municipality for five years.
However, a municipality can reverse its decision at any time. If a municipality does not pass an ordinance, it would not be allowed to prohibit marijuana businesses for at least five years.
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