LAMBERTVILLE, NJ — The Lambertville City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Thursday that will allow up to four retail cannabis stores in the city.
Class 5 retail licenses are the only business types Lambertville will permit, of the six legal in the state. Due to concerns about large corporate cannabis retailers, two of Lambertville’s four retail stores must be microbusinesses.
Initially, the council had hoped to push temporary legislation prohibiting all recreational cannabis in the city. Cities throughout the state had been enacting these measures to beat the statewide Aug. 21 deadline, at which point state law allowing all six cannabis retailers would supersede any existing municipal codes, to bide time before making more particular decisions about local cannabis law.
But when this proposed ban drew significant backlash from town residents, the Lambertville City Council established a working group and hosted forums for citizens to offer their cannabis opinions. Council members emphasized Thursday that the new ordinance was built upon thoughts shared in those meetings.
>>>Want to win Six Flags Great Adventure Season Passes? Here’s how.
In section 7 of the ordinance, the city delineates specific requirements for its retailers. Businesses must be at least 500 feet from a school and at least 600 feet from another cannabis retailer, among other specifications. Cannabis retailers may not operate within a single-family dwelling.
Sales will be limited to no more than 6 ounces of cannabis per customer. The city is also imposing a Cannabis Transfer Tax of 2 percent — the highest possible — and a Cannabis User Tax of 2 percent.
The ordinance passed the planning board on July 7, confirming that its specifics aligned with city planning. Thursday’s meeting was its final public hearing and vote.
Residents’ primary gripe Thursday came from finding the ordinance too restrictive; some were concerned about no public space being made available for recreational cannabis use. However, Mayor Julia Fahl has specified that this and other matters relating to cannabis in Lambertville can be revisited in future legislation.