MORRIS TWP. – The Township Committee is expected to introduce an ordinance at its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday June 16 opting out on state cannabis regulations ahead of the Aug. 22 deadline to create new cannabis sales and cultivation regulations.
The state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s deadline to create the regulations governing the sale, cultivation and distribution of cannabis is the same as the deadline for municipalities to decide whether or not they would like to permit certain classes of cannabis in their towns, a statement from the Township Committee said. Municipalities are required to adopt local ordinances prior to final regulations being proclaimed.
Municipalities that opt-out by the Aug. 22 deadline have the ability to opt-in at any time during the next five years. However, municipalities that do not opt-out of certain classes by the deadline are required to permit those classes without having the ability to opt-out for five years.
Deputy Mayor Mark Gyorfy and Committeewoman Cathy Wilson had hosted a public information session for residents to learn more about New Jersey’s new cannabis laws on May 27. During the session, Township Attorney Scott Carlson provided a presentation outlining the details of the state’s cannabis laws. Residents can watch the video recording at https://tinyurl.com/k7fjum3s.
The Legislation Standing Committee, a subcommittee of the Township Committee, recommended the Township Committee adopt an opt-out ordinance as other neighboring towns recently have done.
“By opting-out ahead of the Aug. 22 deadline, the township provides itself with the most flexibility as municipalities await final regulations from the Cannabis Regulatory Commission,” the committee statement said.
The Township Committee intends to introduce its opt-out ordinance at the June 16 monthly meeting. The public hearing for the ordinance will take place during the July monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21. Once the Cannabis Regulatory Commission issues its final regulations, the members of the governing body will complete a review and provide an additional opportunity for residents to participate.