Phillipsburg accepts sales of recreational weeds at the Apothecarium, but nowhere else
After New Jersey authorities gave the green light to sales of recreational and adult marijuana, the Phillipsburg Medical Dispensary gained city approval to open its doors to weed users and adults. curious about cannabis aged 21 and over.
City council on Tuesday gave final approval to an ordinance banning recreational cannabis businesses in Phillipsburg, except in The apothecary which opened last November at 55 S. Main St.
New Jersey voters in a referendum last November approved the legalization of recreational and adult marijuana. Gov. Phil Murphy signed the legalization legislation in February, and a commission worked to develop regulations before retail sales could begin.
The municipalities have until August 21 to refuse to license recreational marijuana businesses within their borders, and those who opt face a five-year moratorium before they can again consider local rules for the industry.
On June 15, the Phillipsburg council gave its initial approval to the ordinance banning recreational businesses aimed at adults. Discussion among board members at the meeting focused on refusing to allow recreational cannabis sales before the deadline, in order to gain time to consider at a later date allowing these businesses to operate. .
The ordinance available for public review ahead of the June 15 meeting did not include the Apothecarium exception, and lehighvalleylive.com reported on June 17 that Phillipsburg was banning all recreational businesses aimed at adults. This report was based on the ordinance as it appeared on the agenda and the discussion before council. City attorney Rich Wenner, however, told council on June 15 that the opt-out order “would ban all other uses except for grandfather The Apothecarium who currently operates (a) a business. in the city and would also allow The Apothecarium to apply for and obtain a retail license for adult cannabis.
The legal announcement of the the ordinance was then issued on June 19, with legislation now stating that “the holder of a valid pre-existing alternative processing center license issued first by the state of New Jersey” – The Apothecarium – “may operate a functioning cannabis retail establishment. as one or both medical centers Cannabis dispensary and an adult cannabis dispensary in order to carry out the retail sale of cannabis, cannabis-based articles and related supplies to consumers for medical purposes and for the consumption of ‘adults …’
It’s the language received final approval on Tuesday in a 5-0 city council vote.
Wenner said on Friday he was unsure whether the wording of the exception was included in the June 15 draft made available to the public (page 96 in this link), but that it didn’t matter for the initial approval – or first reading – that night.
“You don’t need to have the ordinance in the form that is going to be adopted for first reading,” he said. lehighvalleylive.com.
The ordinance initially approved on June 15 by the board included the exception and it was announced that way for first and second reading, Wenner said on Friday.
Council Chairman Frank McVey said on Friday that “no one has edited this postponed version of the first meeting” on June 15.
City Councilor Randy Piazza Jr. said on Friday he understood the ban on adult-use recreational sales to exempt the Apothecarium.
City Councilor Harry Wyant Jr., however, said he supported the Apothecarium’s medical marijuana business, but didn’t remember the recreational exception.
“I missed this myself because the intention was not to close them as a result of this order,” he said on Friday.
City Councilor Bobby Fulper said on Friday he understood the ordinance to exempt the Apothecarium from the ban on recreational and adult marijuana businesses. He had asked for assurances at the June 15 meeting that The Apothecarium’s medical marijuana sales would not be affected.
“If we step down, it doesn’t hurt The Apothecarium and the way they operate now, right?” ” He asked. “And the patients, they always get their meds when needed and we don’t stand in the way, do we?” “
Wenner said he was right in both cases.
City Councilor Danielle DeGerolamo could not be reached immediately for comment on Friday. She had expressed her concerns on June 15 about the recreational and adult marijuana businesses in Phillipsburg.
McVey said the future of these businesses in town will be discussed further at a council working session scheduled for September.
TerrAscend Corp., parent company of The Apothecarium, was working Friday afternoon on a response to the adult recreation exemption approved by the Phillipsburg board.
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Kurt Bresswein can be reached at [email protected].