Stanhope takes first look at New Jersey’s new marijuana rules

Stanhope. The borough administrator expressed concern about the disposal of waste liquids, and said the regulations do not sufficiently address cultivation.

| 31 Aug 2021 | 06:14

Stanhope officials discussed the recent release of the rules that will govern recreational marijuana commerce in the state.

New Jersey’s cannabis regulators approved the initial rules on Aug. 19.

At their Aug. 24 meeting, the Stanhope council said the state is letting municipalities decide the number and types of businesses they want to allow, local licensing, penalties, and hours of operation.

Mayor Patricia Zdichocki said she read the document and needs more answers.

Borough administrator Brian McNeilly said he worries about run-off from marijuana businesses, the disposal of liquids, and their affect on the sewer system. He wants to know how the state will enforce regulations that affect delivery vehicles without markings.

Zdichocki said the regulations require delivery vehicles to leave and return directly to the retail location after each delivery.

McNeilly said the regulations do not sufficiently address cultivation, and that there is a limit of 37 cultivators statewide.

He called the new regulations a “living document.” He said the council will reread the rules, then come to its best determination.

American Rescue Plan boosts budget: The council amended the township budget to include an initial payment of $173,000 from the 2021 American Rescue Plan. A total of $324,755 will be paid to Stanhope, which will get its second payment in 2022. Councilman Bill Thornton was absent.
Money for body-worn cameras: The council amended the budget to include $18,342 from the state’s 2021 grant program to outfit police officers with body-worn cameras.
Shade Tree Commission: The council introduced an ordinance regarding the Shade Tree Commission, with a public hearing to be held in September.
Auction of borough property: The council authorized the public auction of borough property that is no longer needed through
Fire department gets new member: Mayor Zdichocki appointed Emanuel Bookspan a member of the Stanhope Fire Department, with a unanimous vote by the council.
Montella settlement: The council authorized the execution of the settlement and release agreement with Fortunato Montella, a former borough police officer.
9/11 memorial service: Councilman Gene Wronko said the 20th anniversary 9/11 memorial service will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, at Lake Muscunetcong Park. The council agreed to close the road for the service.
Pig roast: Councilman Wronko also reminded everyone of the Stanhope Chamber of Commerce pig roast, to be held on Friday, Sept. 10, from 6 to 9 p.m.
Stanhope Pedestrian Loop: McNeilly said the work is ongoing.
Sparta Road: Borough administrator Brian McNeilly said the construction signs will be placed and activity start the following week.
Water main: McNeilly said work should start soon on the water main on Baker Place.
Reclamation bids: The bids on the reclamation on Highland, Baker, and North Central has been opened, with a possible bid award on Sept. 14.
Dell Road: McNeilly said the Department of Public Works did a great job with two catch basins on Dell Road “in the nick of time.” The basins worked well during the last big storm, he said.
Kelly Place and Furnace Street: McNeilly said the project should be awarded by Sept. 28. The cost will be covered by a $249,000 local grant.
Gas station fire: McNeilly said there was a fire at the Phillips 66 gas station after a serious accident involving a vehicle coming off the road. No one was hurt.
Pedestrian crossing: McNeilly said he is in contact with the county engineer who is preparing an agreement for the pedestrian crossing at Maple Terrace and Brooklyn Road. The project will be included in the 2022 budget for work in spring/summer.