Under the changes, medical marijuana dispensaries are now allowed in retail zones, and tattoo parlors are permitted in additional zones. (Click to enlarge.)


hot topic red bank njAs expected, the Red Bank council approved measures on medical marijuana shops and tattoo parlors Wednesday.

Officials also introduced an ordinance to recognize a turn toward do-it-yourself crafts and other forms of “commercial recreation” downtown.

• The ordinance that would treat “alternative treatment centers,” or medical marijuana dispensaries, as retail establishments met no objections from either council members or audience members at the council’s latest semimonthly meeting.

Under first-year Governor Phil Murphy, New Jersey legislators are increasing the number of licenses for medical dispensaries from six to twelve. Any shop that wanted to open in Red Bank would have to hold one of the licenses.

Legislators are also debating whether to legalize non-medical cannabis possession and use. The Red Bank ordinance does not address non-medical usage.

Here’s the ordinance.

• Likewise, a expansion of the zones in which tattoo parlors are permitted faced no objections.

Prior to passage, tattoo shops were allowed only in the highway business zone fronting on Newman Springs Road, but none have opened there. The new ordinance struck down prohibitions on tattoo shops in five other business zones. They’d still be prohibited in all-residential zones.

As of Friday morning, no applications to open tattoo shops had been filed, according to the borough planning and zoning office.

Here’s the ordinance.

• In tacit recognition that downtown Red Bank is rapidly becoming a place where people do things as much as buy things, the council also introduced an ordinance that creates a category of commercial recreational uses.

The category includes business types that already exist, such as DIY crafts shops, escape rooms and game rooms, as well as others that don’t yet or no longer do: bowling alley, bike rental, boat rental, skating rink, billiard parlor and batting cages.

Officials said they hope the law eliminates uncertainty and inconsistency for such businesses hoping to move into Red Bank or expand existing operations.

An adoption vote was scheduled for October 24. Here’s the ordinance.