The South Orange Board of Trustees is establishing a Cannabis Task Force and currently crafting an ordinance against issuing business licenses for retail recreational cannabis businesses; Maplewood Township Committee has already passed a similar ordinance.
But confusion abounds as to what this means for residents and cannabis enthusiasts. While New Jersey passed legislation permitting recreational cannabis in February, regulations around all the facets of the industry have yet to be issued by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission. Under the law, municipalities in New Jersey have until Aug. 21 to either disallow recreational marijuana businesses or set parameters governing them. If municipalities do not actively disallow the businesses, they are bound to allow them for the next five years with whatever state regulations are in place, once the regulations are published.
“This is a question of permitted uses and zones for recreational businesses, not ‘banning recreational marijuana,’” said Village President Sheena Collum yesterday on Facebook in response to a misunderstanding of the BOT’s move. She noted that “we can't supersede state law and our voters overwhelming supported” the legalization of recreational cannabis.