The township council has voted to permanently ban recreational marijuana businesses from operating, rejecting a less-sweeping prohibition recommended by a study committee.
Council members approved the ban in a 4-1 vote, with two members abstaining due to conflicts. Several members have said they could revisit the marijuana issue — to permit medical marijuana dispensaries.
Only Councilwoman Laurie Huryk voted against an ordinance banning recreational weed businesses.
Marijuana businesses are likely to be banned indefinitely here after Township Council members introduced a measure that would eliminate the Dec. 31 expiration date for the weed business ban.
Four council members -- Kevin M. Geoghegan, Maria Maruca, Matt Lotano and Daniel Rodrick -- voted to scrap the Dec. 31 date on Tuesday. Council members Josh Kopp and Terrance Turnbach abstained, while Councilwoman Laurie Huryk voted "no" on the measure.
Council members Laurie Huryk and Daniel Rodrick will join local residents on a committee that will discuss whether marijuana businesses should be allowed in the township.
Members of the committee are expected to be appointed Tuesday. The council last week again tabled an ordinance that would bar companies that sell, manufacture or distribute weed from operating in town. The measure is expected to be discussed again — and possibly voted on — at the July 13 council meeting.
The Toms River Township Council has tabled an ordinance that would ban the operation of retail cannabis businesses.
The council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to delay action to further discuss and explore the issues involved with the potential for retail businesses under New Jersey's law governing the legalization of adult recreational marijuana use. Councilman Daniel Rodrick voted against tabling the measure.