N.J.’s capital city to welcome, but limit locations for legal weed shops. Downtown may get left out. – NJ.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: NJ Cannabis Insider is hosting an in-person day-long conference and networking event Sept. 23 at the Carteret Performing Arts Center, featuring many of the state’s leading power players. Early-bird tickets now on sale.

As New Jersey municipalities face a looming deadline to get in on the action for legal marijuana sales, officials in the state’s capital city have been jockeying on an ordinance that would lay out how cannabis businesses can operate.

Trenton’s ordinance, which has gone through several changes, would allow five dispensaries in three existing business zones in the city, with the downtown business district excluded.

The ordinance has its first reading Thursday in front of City Council.

It’s not what Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora’s administration originally wanted. They proposed 10 dispensaries and the downtown included, but as it’s currently written it’ll at least get Trenton started by allowing it to regulate cannabis dispensaries and collect taxes from such businesses.

Leaving out the downtown district, Gusciora said, is short sighted and amounts to redlining.

“We need to capture this moment for the city of Trenton,” Gusciora said this week.

Local governments have until Aug. 21 to either ban cannabis businesses in their town or pass a local law welcoming and regulating adult-use marijuana.

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