Many more Marijuana Stores could soon Pop Up in Red Bank - Here’s Why

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Many More Marijuana Stores Could Soon Pop Up in Red Bank – Here’s Why

In 2012, it was named among the best small towns in the United States, according to Smithsonian magazine.

Now it may be known for something else.

How We Got Here

In November 2020, NJ voters approved the legalization of cannabis, and Governor Murphy signed the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act on February 22, 2021.

In April 2021, New Jersey became the first state on the East Coast to begin recreational sales.

In August 2021, the borough council unanimously passed an Ordinance to allow all six types of municipal licenses related to cannabis in the borough. Councilman Ed Zipprich was absent for the vote.

The vote was taken three days before the State deadline to impose restrictions. 

Red Bank Cannabis License Applications

As of this date, the council has approved 16 resolutions "acknowledging" applications for a cannabis business license; 13 for retail operations and 3 for cultivation, or growing of the herb.

Each resolution includes the language, “… the issuance of a license to the applicant by the (New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory), Commission would not exceed any municipally-imposed limit…” (emphasis added).

That’s because Red Bank has no limit on the number of cannabis businesses that can operate in the borough.

Back in early March of this year, after 3 cannabis businesses made applications to the borough, TAPinto Red Bank requested clarification from former borough attorney Greg Cannon.

Cannon replied via email saying; “These resolutions do not grant any licenses.  The first step is to obtain a state license from the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC).

In order for state-license applicants to complete their application, they must submit proof from the municipality that their proposed license does not violate the local regulations enacted by a municipality.

After applicants receive state licenses, then they return to the municipality for municipal land use and local licensing approval.”

In short, once it passes the state process, the Borough takes things from there, dealing with approvals, permitting and other municipal procedures.

Borough Foregoes August 21, 2021, Deadline to Restrict Cannabis Businesses

  • 5 year wait required before trying to pass a restriction ordinance

In a nutshell, the Borough policy is intact for five years – no changes, additions or subtractions.

If any Borough leader wants to propose something different, they have to wait at least five years.

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization (CREAMM), Act allows for the legal sale and use of recreational cannabis and cannabis products for anyone 21 years and older.

Deadline for Limiting Cannabis Businesses

The Act states, “… municipalities wishing to limit the classes of cannabis businesses permitted in their jurisdiction (had) until August 21, 2021, to enact an ordinance specifying restrictions prohibiting the operation of one or more classes of cannabis businesses.”

Restriction Ordinance: 5-Year Wait

“Any municipality that did not pass an ordinance to this effect by the deadline will have to wait 5 years before trying to pass a restriction ordinance.

If, after the 5-year period, a municipality enacts an ordinance to prohibit one or more classes of cannabis businesses, the prohibition shall be prospective only and not apply to any cannabis business already operating in the municipality.”

Plainly speaking, once a cannabis business is here. It’s here.

Red Bank may become a destination not only for shopping, restaurants, theater and entertainment.

Six Types of Municipal Licenses Related to Cannabis

• Class 1: Cannabis Cultivator license, for facilities involved in growing and cultivating cannabis

Class 2: Cannabis Manufacturer license, for facilities involved in the manufacturing, preparation and packaging of cannabis items

• Class 3: Cannabis Wholesaler license, for facilities involved in obtaining and selling cannabis items for later resale by other licensees

• Class 4: Cannabis Distributor license, for businesses involved in transporting cannabis plants in bulk from one licensed cultivator to another licensed cultivator, or cannabis items in bulk from any type of licensed cannabis business to another

• Class 5: Cannabis Retailer license, for locations at which cannabis items and related supplies are sold to consumers

• Class 6: Cannabis Delivery license, for businesses providing courier services for consumer purchases that are fulfilled by a licensed cannabis retailer in order to make deliveries of the purchased items to a consumer

Cannabis Licenses Acknowledged by Red Bank

Class 5 - Retail License Applicants

  • Canna Source LLC              
  • Canopy Crossroad, LLC
  • Floro RB, LLC           
  • Flower Shop Dispensaries, LLC              
  • Higher Breed NJ, LLC        
  • Monteverde NJ, Inc.         
  • Pink Balloon, LLC   
  • PLUG Naturals, LLC           
  • Quiet Bloom, LLC               
  • RBFC, LLC                             
  • Scarlet Reserve Room  
  • The Garden at Red Bank   
  • The Next Chapter Market, LLC  

Class 1 - Cultivator License Applicants

  • ACTF NJ, LLC
  • Divine Garden LLC                         
  • G Tree’s, LLC

Surrounding Towns Cannabis Ordinances

  • Asbury Park - All Cannabis Classes Prohibited
  • Colts Neck - All Cannabis Classes Prohibited
  • Eatontown – Maximum of 3 Cannabis Retailers, Maximum of 2 for all other Classes
  • Fair Haven - All Cannabis Classes Prohibited
  • Holmdel - All Cannabis Classes Prohibited
  • Little Silver - All Cannabis Classes Prohibited
  • Long Branch - No more than 1 License for each Cannabis Class
  • Middletown - All Cannabis Classes Prohibited
  • Rumson - All Cannabis Classes Prohibited

Note: municipalities that opted out prior to the statutory deadline of August 21, 2021, can opt-in and allow those cannabis businesses at any time.

Red Bank Cannabis Zoning Site Map 

In early August 2021, the Red Bank Planning Board approved the zones on where cannabis businesses are permitted and restricted.

Retail sales will be allowed along a portion of Newman Springs Road that is designated for Highway Business; the Business Residential-1 zone; the CC-1 and CC-2 zones downtown; and the Waterfront Development zone.

TAPinto Red Bank reached out several times to borough attorney Dan Atonelli asking; “If the applicant meets all the borough’s planning/zoning/other requirements, what would be the grounds, if any, for the borough to deny a license?” 

Antonelli did not respond in time for us to include his answer in the article.

Follow the Money

Under state law, the borough will collect a local excise retail tax of 2% and a wholesale tax of 1%. This is in addition to the NJ state sales tax of 6.625% paid by consumers. Cannabis growers will be subject to a gradually increasing excise tax.

Eatontown charges $10,000 for a cannabis business application other than retail, and an annual fee of $2,500.

Region: New Jersey