FAIRFIELD, NJ — Two new cannabis-related ordinances were introduced at the Fairfield Township Council meeting Monday night. Mayor James Gasparini stated that, if passed, there will be no cannabis retail establishments, no agricultural establishments and no cannabis delivery licenses allowed in town.
Gasparini explained that no agricultural establishments will be allowed since there is an offensive odor when cannabis is grown and harvested. Gasparini said that there is no appropriate land in Fairfield that is far enough away from residential homes that the odor would not reach.
Earlier this year the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Enforcement Assistance and Marketplace Modernization Act established six marketplace classes of licensed businesses. The act stipulated that any municipal regulation or prohibition must be adopted before Aug. 22.
At a previous council meeting, Business Administrator Joseph Catenaro explained that the township has the right to accept all six classes or none of them. The acceptance of classes will affect tax revenue.
The six marketplace classes of licensed businesses are: Class 1 Cannabis Cultivator license, for facilities involved in growing and cultivating cannabis, Class 2 Cannabis Manufacturer 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, Class 5 Cannabis Retailer license for locations at which cannabis items and related supplies are sold to consumers and Class 6 Cannabis Delivery license, for businesses providing courier services for consumer purchases that are fulfilled by a licensed cannabis retailer in order to make deliveries of the purchased items to a consumer, and the service would include the ability of a consumer to make a purchase directly through the cannabis delivery service, which would be presented by the delivery service for fulfillment by a retailer and then delivered to a consumer.
The new ordinances will ban Classes 1, 5 and 6, but will accept Classes 2, 3 and 4. Catenaro explained to TAP that the township is allowing Classes 2, 3 and 4 because it is “our position that it is no different from the manufacturing or gross distribution of any type of medical product, including those of pharmaceutical companies. It could be a good source of revenue if a license is obtained, with no detrimental effect to the local citizenry.”
In 2020, New Jersey voters approved the legalization of cannabis for adults at least 21 years of age.
The second reading and public hearing on these ordinances will be on Monday, June 28.
Catenaro reminded businesses to install split water meters, one used for product use and one for sewers. Businesses such as bakeries and breweries use a lot more water for product use, which is cheaper, but if meters are not split, all the water will be considered sewer water. Catenaro said that businesses have been warned about this, but some ignored the warning.
Councilman John LaForgia announced that there will be an Independence Day celebration on Wednesday, June 30. There will be fireworks, food vendors and a DJ. He also stated that there will be a recreation summer camp program for Fairfield children. It will be a morning program only with all activities outdoors, and if it rains, the program will be cancelled.
According to Councilman Joseph Cifelli, on Monday, June 28, the governing body will be introducing the township budget, and the third quarter estimated tax bills will be going out in mid-July.
There will be a special council meeting on Monday, June 14 at the Hollywood Avenue Recreation Center, where police officer promotions will be recognized and a new officer will be welcomed.
The governing body approved an ordinance that establishes procedures to reimburse residents for damage to mailboxes due to snow-removal operations. It is Fairfield policy to reimburse residents up to $250 for eligible damage to mailboxes caused by direct plow contact on the part of Fairfield’s Department of Public Works. The residents must notify the township within seven days of the date of damage.
Another ordinance was introduced that sets parameters for block parties and one concerning secondhand precious metals, gems and jewelry dealers, which would help the police department get stolen items back to their rightful owners. Two other ordinances that were introduced would cover the reimbursement of police uniforms.