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VILLAS – Lower Township Council introduced ordinances to amend the municipal land development code that would allow marijuana sales and delivery businesses, at its June 7 meeting. Another ordinance would set mercantile license fees for those businesses at $2,000 each.

The cannabis businesses, one of each in each zone, would be permitted to operate in the GB-1 (business) and industrial-zoned districts, with several restrictions added to their operation, including hours of operation and distance from schools, residential structure, playground, recreation facility, beach, library, or public building.

Council recently passed ordinances prohibiting the use of marijuana in all but private property.

Mayor Frank Sippel said the ordinance was reviewed by the Planning Board and found to comply with the municipality’s land-use ordinance.

In a recent state public question, 70% of Lower Township voters approved legalizing marijuana, more than the state's 67% approval. 

Sippel said marijuana is being used in the municipality and will continue to be used.

“The bottom line is cannabis is here, and we cannot stop it. It’s state law signed by the governor. If the ordinance is passed, it will give the voters what they asked for, and provide a revenue stream to offset our taxes.”

The public hearing and possible adoption are set for the July 6 council meeting, at 5 p.m., at Township Hall, 2600 Bayshore Rd., Villas.

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