Ocean City’s governing body gave final approval Thursday night to an ordinance that prohibits businesses that cultivate, manufacture, test or sell marijuana.
Looking to preserve its family-friendly image, the city will ban the sale of marijuana in the aftermath of New Jersey’s legalization of cannabis in February.
Approved by City Council by a 6-0 vote, the ordinance bans marijuana facilities within one-quarter mile of a school, church, recreational or sports facility, the Boardwalk and any residential area. It would effectively outlaw businesses from selling marijuana, hashish or pot paraphernalia in all parts of town.
“The Mayor and City Council believe there is no area of the city which can safely house a business selling marijuana, cannabis or hashish or the paraphernalia that facilitates use of the same,” the ordinance says.
On Feb. 22, Gov. Phil Murphy signed three bills to legalize pot in New Jersey for adults 21 and older and to decriminalize it for people under 21.
From the start, Ocean City’s Council has objected to marijuana’s legalization, passing an ordinance in 2019 to ban the sale of pot in a town that bills itself as “America’s Greatest Family Resort.” At that time, the governor and state Legislature were discussing the possibility of legalizing marijuana.