On May 1, 2019, the City of Newark Municipal Council adopted Ordinance 18-1970 by a 7-0 vote amending several sections of the City’s Zoning Ordinance. This new ordinance permits medical marijuana alternative treatment centers, medical marijuana cultivation facilities, medical marijuana manufacturing facilities, and medical marijuana safety compliance facilities (collectively, the “Medical Marijuana Uses”) as conditional uses in specified zoning districts within the City. The majority of the public who attended the hearing were in support of the amendment. Hon. LaMonica McIver, Councilwoman for the Central Ward, commended the Administration and Council for taking a proactive approach to permit Medical Marijuana Uses in the City, and to ensuring the City retains control over how and where they should operate.
The Ordinance amends the City’s Zoning Ordinance by setting forth five specific nonresidential zones where some or all of the Medical Marijuana Uses are allowed. In each instance, the use is a conditional use, subject to 12 specific standards. It also amends and supplements the definitions section of the Zoning Ordinance to mirror those contained in the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, codified at N.J.S.A. 24:6I-1, et. seq.
The new ordinance comes on the heels of the New Jersey Department of Health, Medical Marijuana Division’s biennial report, released April 1, that noted current medical marijuana alternative treatment centers “have struggled to keep pace with a growing patient population.” While many cities have shied away from any form of support for marijuana businesses (whether medical or adult use recreational), the ordinance clearly announces to this burgeoning industry that Newark is officially open for business.
To the extent any entrepreneurs have questions with respect to operating a medical cannabis facility in Newark, or anywhere throughout the region or would like to discuss how these proposed rules can affect you and your business, please contact Partners in Commercial Real Estate & Redevelopment Practice Group Jennifer Mazawey, Esq., at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973.535.7126, William F. Harrison, Esq., at email@example.com or 973.535.4430 or Co-Chair of the Cannabis Law Practice Group Michael C. McQueeny, Esq. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973.646.3292.