Phillipsburg just says no, for now, to recreational marijuana businesses – lehighvalleylive.com

Phillipsburg is home to one of New Jersey’s 19 medical marijuana dispensaries that will likely be first to open their doors to adult users once recreational sales start.

But any notions of a cannabis retail oasis in Warren County, and on Pennsylvania’s border, took a hit this week.

Town council cast a 4-0 preliminary vote Tuesday night to opt out of permitting any recreational marijuana businesses. The Apothecarium dispensary that opened last November on South Main Street is grandfathered in and unaffected by the decision, according to the town attorney, Rich Wenner.

Council members framed the decision as a way to buy time ahead of an Aug. 21 deadline for New Jersey municipalities to pass ordinances banning cannabis businesses or limiting their presence within their borders. If they take no action, they will be unable to regulate these establishments for five years.

“The deadline we were up against was that we had to take some sort of action and address in an ordinance,” council President Frank McVey told lehighvalleylive.com on Wednesday. “If we choose to address this down the road we can because we addressed it now. Otherwise we would be locked out in a five-year moratorium. Down the road if we talk it

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