As any New Jersey resident can attest, businesses often come and go. In some cases, the basis for a business moving into a building or having to vacate it is due to the zoning laws. For the most part, zoning laws remain the same; however, these can alter due to changes in laws and policy. For example, the sale of medical and recreational marijuana is addressed in zoning laws. In order for a business to lawfully sell marijuana, the zoning laws must allow for it.
Marijuana zoning laws
Currently, Millville and 500-plus other communities in the state have their city planners determining whether or not to welcome marijuana enterprises. However, a decision must be made by August 21, so there is some concern that this may not be enough time to effectively reach a final decision.
Last month, the Planning Board did its first dive into the issues concerning the city being zoned for marijuana businesses; however, they indicated that the hour-long hearing resulted in more questions than answers.
The pressure to make this decision is due to the several marijuana use-related laws that were signed by the governor on February 22. One of these laws both legalized and regulated non-medical marijuana use, allowing adult 21 years of age and older to purchase and use. The existing ordinances regarding marijuana will become void after August 21, making it imperative that communities make the decision to opt in for marijuana enterprises or opting out in order to keep the trade at bay for at least the next five years.
Real estate law matters go beyond the transactions of real property that is either sold or leased. When commercial real estate is part of the equation, so is the underlying purpose for the business. If the area is not zoned for a specific type of business, the business may not be able to operate. However, there are steps a business could take to overcome this and other legal issues that may come up.