HOWELL – After listening to the public and speaking amongst each other, the township unanimously voted to ban recreational and medical marijuana sales in the township, arguing they had to do so to make sure they have some control over where such businesses can be located if they allow them at a later date.

The council agreed to plan a workshop session to start discussing zoning for such businesses.

Only Mayor Theresa Berger, Councilwoman Evelyn O’Donnell, and Deputy Mayor Thomas Russo were present for the Tuesday meeting. Councilwoman Pamela Richmond and Councilman John Bonevich were absent. 

“The people of the town voted. What we are doing is we’re trying to ensure that we have it in the correct location,” said Berger. 

Howell residents voted 63% in favor of legalizing marijuana in the November ballot measure. Statewide, 67% of residents voted in favor.

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Under the New Jersey marijuana legalization laws, municipalities have until Aug. 21 to prohibit recreational marijuana sales and dispensaries or the businesses will be automatically permitted in existing retail and industrial zones. 

“The law was just passed, that gave municipalities a very short timeframe to act,” said Township Attorney Joseph Clark. “There is no regulation yet at the state level,

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