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RED BANK: ANOTHER CANNABIS SHOP ON DECK

red-bank-45-bridge-010622-1-500x332-8412573Monteverde NJ hopes to open a marijuana store in a former dry cleaning shop on North Bridge Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot-topic_03-220x138-9108919Another would-be cannabis retailer goes before the Red Bank planning board Monday night.

The applicant, Monteverde NJ, seeks an OK to convert a former dry-cleaning shop on North Bridge Avenue to a pot shop.

Monteverde intends to meet its parking obligation for nine spaces by providing 11 off-street spots, in addition to five onsite, for a total of 16, according to the board agenda.

The business is one of a number jockeying for position in Red Bank’s nascent cannabis market, though none have yet opened.

If approved, Monteverde’s shop would be the second on North Bridge Avenue to win board OK: the first was one greenlighted in March for the space now occupied by the China Moon restaurant in the Crate’s Liquors strip mall.

Last month, the board approved a plan by Canopy Crossroad to open at 9 West Street, next door to Red Bank Liquors.

Yet another business, Plug Naturals LLC, has a pending plan for a shop at 156 West Front Street – just around the corner from Canopy Crossroad – with hearing scheduled for July 17.

Another weed shop, Garden at Red Bank LLC, is eyeing the long-vacant former Exxon Station at 80 Rector Place, just steps from the Monteverde building, an attorney told the borough council in March. The site was previously approved for a six-story Hampton Inn that was never built.

Before any weed shops can open, they also must pass muster with the borough Cannabis Review Board, which was created by ordinance April 12 but has not yet been formed, and with the council itself.

Meantime, a hotly debated effort to tighten the cannabis business zoning law adopted in 2021 appears to have stalled. A change in government slated to occur July 1 would put opponents of the proposed changes in charge.

Also on Monday’s agenda: the borough’s plan to subdivide the Senior Center property at 80 Shrewsbury Avenue to create a “passive park.”

Yes, even the borough needs approval from its board. The plan requires bulk variances for minimum lot area and minimum lot frontage, according to the agenda.

Here’s the full  agenda. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at borough hall, 90 Monmouth Street. Viewing is also available via Zoom.

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