Hoboken aims to limit marijuana industry before drug is legalized in NJ

New Jersey
marijuana joint

A woman rolls a marijuana cigarette in Bethpage, New York on Aug. 30, 2014. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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HOBOKEN, N.J. — With state lawmakers likely to vote before the end of the year to make recreational marijuana legal, smaller municipalities like Hoboken are grappling with how to make it work in their cities and towns.

Hoboken’s Mayor Ravi Bhalla has already introduced an ordinance limiting the number of marijuana-selling joints to three for the entire city.

Bhalla is also aiming to control where the stores would be located — keeping them in commercial or industrial areas and out of residential neighborhoods. Each would pay an annual fee of $15,000 to be able to grow or sell.

A meeting will be hosted in Hoboken Monday night to let residents weigh in. Panelists, including Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante and Amol Sinha, with the American Civil Liberties Union, will participate. The meeting is scheduled to take place 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Hoboken Jubilee Center.

Elsewhere in New Jersey, Jersey City has already decriminalized it and Union City has banned it.

And with New York City a short train right away, elected officials say they recognize the need to have a plan to handle demand.

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