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RED BANK: CANNABIS SHOP ON AGENDA

red-bank-11-west-street-110521-2-1-500x332-6024064hot-topic_01-220x161-3262222An application to open a retail cannabis dispensary on West Street in Red Bank goes to the planning board Monday night – in the midst of a council effort to block it. 

andy-zeitlin-032923-500x372-3331066Canopy Crossroad owners Andy Zeitlin and Caryn Cohen at a council meeting in March. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

On the agenda is a request by Canopy Crossroad to open at at 9 West Street, next door to Red Bank Liquors.

The would-be marijuana shop, owned by husband-and-wife Andy Zeitlin and Caryn Cohen of Middletown, holds a conditional license from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. Under the borough’s 2021 cannabis zoning law, which is still in effect, the business also obtained a resolution from the town council attesting that the issuance of a license by the state “would not exceed any municipally-imposed limit.”

But under a pending amendment to the borough law, written by the council’s three-member code committee, retail cannabis sales within 1,000 feet of schools, playgrounds and public housing would be prohibited, except in the Highway Development zone along Newman Springs Road.

The West Street site would be barred for use as a pot shop because it’s too close to the Red Bank Charter School on Monmouth Street. Zeitlin has said the distance is about 890 feet.

The code committee’s chairman, Councilmember Michael Ballard, said in March that Canopy Crossroad could instead open a block away, on Allen Place. Ballard, who also sits on the planning board, said the street was chosen “as a substitute for West Street,” because  it lies in a “business-residential” zone.

Allen Place has no retail space.

Two weeks ago, the planning board, with Ballard absent, unanimously declared the proposed zoning law out of compliance with the borough’s Master Plan because it would impede, rather than advance, economic development.

Here’s the agenda. The board meets in person at 7 p.m. at borough Hall, 90 Monmouth Street. Viewing, but not participation, is available via Zoom link.

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