With the passing of New Jersey State Law legalizing the future sales of Cannabis, the Borough of Hopatcong is taking their first steps at their March 17, 2021, Council Meeting to prohibit many areas of growing, sales, and possession of Cannabis.
The proposed Borough Ordinance included below will be introduced to the public during this first meeting (March 17, 2021) with the final resolution scheduled for the April 7, 2021 meeting.
In speaking to Hopatcong Mayor Michael Francis, he feels that the community needs take our time and discuss this further as a community and invites public feedback on the topic.
Town Hall Meeting in April:
To help gather feedback, the Mayor is proposing a virtual Borough of Hopatcong Town Hall Meeting that will be scheduled for the April timeframe and will feature guest speakers on the subject with most of the time spent on residents’ questions.
“The reason that we are launching this Borough Ordinance at this time is to make sure we meet the deadline of having our own local rules, otherwise we’d need to wait five years for any changes.”
“We need to take time to study this as a community and learn together, I’m not comfortable with an August deadline by the State when the program won’t be fully in effect, without the community working on this together.”
Since the launch of the Cannabis Law, the Mayor most recently expressed his issue with the law, by noting his concern for significant gaps regarding younger kids, where usage shows brain damage can take place.
"This is just stupid that parents will not be notified if an underage minor uses drugs, we need to protect our children".
Date: March 17, 2020
Time: 7:30 PM
Virtual Meeting Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81472426759
Link to the full Agenda for the Meeting: https://hopatcong.org/vertical/sites/%7BE641513E-DD40-4540-BC56-B52978BA2363%7D/uploads/03-17-2021_agenda_packet.pdf
REPRINT: ORDINANCE NO. 5 - 2021
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF HOPATCONG, TO ADD SECTION 242-17F TO PROHIBIT ANY CANNABIS ESTABLISHMENTS, CANNABIS DISTRIBUTORS, CANNABIS DELIVERY SERVICES, AND MANUFACTURING OR WHOLESALE SALE OF CANNABIS PRODUCTS AND RELATED ACTIVITIES
WHEREAS, the Borough seeks to maintain the health, safety and welfare of the citizens and visitors to the Borough and desires to amend the Code of the Borough of Hopatcong (the "Code") in accordance with the terms provided for herein; and
WHEREAS, on February 22, 2021, Governor Phil Murphy signed the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act and pursuant to same, the Borough may enact an ordinance prohibiting the operation of any one or more classes of cannabis establishment, or cannabis distributors or cannabis delivery services (but not the delivery of cannabis items and related supplies by a delivery service); and
WHEREAS, due to the desire to ensure uniformity throughout the Borough regarding the prohibited wholesale or retail sale of cannabis products and related activities in the Borough, the Borough desires to enact the instant legislation; and
WHEREAS, prior to the Borough Council hearing on the adoption of this Ordinance it shall be referred to the Planning Board as required by N.J.S.A. 40:55D-64 and N.J.S.A. 40:55D-26 of the Municipal Land Use Law; and
WHEREAS, within thirty (30) days of the adoption of this Ordinance the Borough Clerk shall provide notice, pursuant to NJ.S.A. 40:55D-15 of the Municipal Land Use Law, by personal service or certified mail to the county planning board which notice shall state the effective date of this Ordinance and include a copy of this Ordinance; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Borough Council of the Borough of Hopatcong, Sussex County, State of New Jersey, as follows:
- The Borough Council hereby amends section 242-17 "Prohibited Uses and Structures" to add subsection 242-17F as follows:
242-17 F. The following shall not be permitted in any zoning district in the Borough: the operation of retail cannabis establishments, which includes the growing, cultivating, manufacturing and selling and reselling of cannabis and cannabis items, and operations to transport in bulk cannabis items by a cannabis cultivator, cannabis manufacturer, cannabis wholesaler, or as a cannabis distributor or cannabis delivery service, or cannabis consumption areas, retail marijuana stores, retail marijuana growing and cultivation facilities; and the operation of retail cannabis social clubs are prohibited within the Borough of Hopatcong and, therefore, all activities related to the above mentioned uses such as, but not limited to, growing and cultivation, possession, extraction, manufacturing, processing, storing, laboratory testing, labeling, transporting, dispensing, transferring and distributing are expressly prohibited within the Borough of Hopatcong. Nothing herein shall be construed to limit any privileges or rights of a qualifying patient, primary caregiver, registered or otherwise, or registered dispensary pursuant to the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, N.J.S.A. 24:61-1 et seq.
- If any section, paragraph, subdivision, clause, sentence, phrase or provision of this Ordinance is declared unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the remaining portions of this Ordinance.
- The Borough Clerk is hereby directed to give notice at least ten (10) days prior to hearing on the adoption of this Ordinance to the Sussex County Planning Board, the clerk of any adjoining municipality, and to all other persons entitled thereto pursuant to S.A. 40:55D-15 and NJ.S.A, 40:55D-63 (if required). Upon adoption of this Ordinance after public hearing thereon, the Borough Cierk is further directed to public notice of the passage thereof and to file a copy of the Ordinance as finally adopted with the Sussex County Planning Board as required by NJ.S.A. 40:55D-16. The Clerk shall also forthwith transit a copy of this Ordinance after final passage to the Borough Tax Assessor as required by NJ.S.A. 40:49-2.1.
- This Ordinance shall take effect after twenty (20) days of its final passage by the LEGAL NOTICE OF PENDING ORDINANCE
Notice is hereby given that the Ordinance published herewith was introduced and passed upon first reading at a meeting of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Hopatcong, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey, held on the 17th day of March 2021. It will be further considered for final passage after public hearing thereon, at a meeting of said Mayor and Council to be held in the Hopatcong Borough Hall, 111 River Styx Road, in said Borough, on April 7, 2021, said meeting to begin at 7:30 pm, and during the week prior to and up to and including the date of such meeting, copies of said Ordinance will be made available at the Clerk's office in said Borough Hall building to members of the general public who shall request the
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