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North Bergen introduces ordinance for recreational pot shops

Which towns will permit or prohibit recreational cannabis establishments?
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Which towns will permit or prohibit recreational cannabis establishments?

Hudson County municipalities differ when it comes to dealing with the new recreational cannabis industry.

According to state laws, municipalities have a deadline of Aug. 21 to implement rules about cannabis establishments. If a municipality does not act by then, recreational cannabis establishments will automatically be permitted.

North Bergen has made its decision.

Just say yes

On June 23, the Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance that would allow cannabis establishments, subject to state and township approvals.

The only prohibited cannabis businesses would be delivery services and lounges.

The ordinance permits two retailers. Applicants would apply for licenses before a cannabis committee, which would include the township administrator, the chief of police, and the director of community improvement.

The ordinance requires establishments to operate with “opaque barriers to shield operations.”

The ordinance will be up for a public hearing and adoption on July 14. For more information, go to northbergen.org and click on the event on the calendar webpage.

North Bergen joins Bayonne, Jersey City, and Hoboken in looking to allow recreational cannabis establishments. West New York has not taken action.

Banned in the rest of Hudson?

Union City has already passed a ban on cannabis establishments other than medical dispensaries. Earlier this week, Guttenberg introduced an ordinance that would ban recreational cannabis establishments. Secaucus and Weehawken have not shown their cards.

Secaucus is home to Harmony Dispensary, the only medical cannabis establishment in the county. Under the new laws, the dispensary would be able to sell pot recreationally if it proves it has enough supply to support its medical clients. If Secaucus lifts its ban, Harmony could be the first dispensary to sell recreational cannabis in the county.

Some municipalities are passing these ordinances as placeholders. If a municipality doesn’t act by the August deadline, all types of recreational establishments are permitted in that municipality for a period of five years. Ordinances prohibiting the establishments will uphold the status quo while municipalities work out the details of what establishments they would permit, if any at all.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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