At its meeting on July 12, the Voorhees Township committee began the process of bringing cannabis businesses to town by introducing two ordinances on first reading that detailed rules and regulations for the move.
The first ordinance outlines the different classes of cannabis licenses (growing, manufacturing, selling, etc.), where they can be placed in town and specific guidelines the establishments must follow once they are open. That ordinance also limits the number of cannabis-related establishments to 10, and limits the number of class 5 establishments (to sell cannabis) to five.
The second ordinance put a sales tax on cannabis produced by the different classes. The ordinance also states that “no cannabis establishments shall be located within 1,000 feet of a house of worship, school, day care and residential zones.”
Solicitor Howard Long explained that the ordinances are in response to a section of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance and Marketplace Modernization Act (CREAMMA) passed in February, where towns were given the choice of following state regulations or enacting their own. By creating and introducing the ordinances, the committee is opting for the latter.
The ordinances were approved on first reading by all committee members except Jason Ravitz, who abstained. Ravitz clarified that he was not abstaining because he is opposed, but because he has an active application at the state department of health.
In other news:
- Voorhees was awarded a Clean Communities Grant of $63,115.96 that was inserted in the budget
- The township was also awarded a Body Worn Camera Grant by the Department of Law and Public Safety in the amount of $140,622. It will help fund body cameras for the police department as well as the storage of footage.
- Council also passed two bond ordinances on second reading to allow for improvements in the sewer utility system and on roads
- Jennifer Gaffney was appointed as Clerk 1 in the zoning Department and Victoria Vandegrift was named Confidential Assistant Clerk 2 in the fire department
- The committee passed a levy that allows the town to use an estimated tax rate for the third installment of taxes since there was a delay with the state certification of the 2021 budget and the Camden County Board of Taxation will be unable to certify rates. The entire estimated tax levy for 2021 is set at $133,470,357.
To read the full ordinances, see the July 12 agenda for the township committee at https://voorheesnj.com/government/boards-committees/planning-board/agendas/.
There will be a public hearing for the ordinances at the next committee meeting, on Monday, Aug. 9, at 7 p.m. over Zoom. See the township website for the link.