The Jersey City City Council is on the path toward adopting a local law that would cap the number of marijuana dispensaries in the city at 55.

The number 55 was derived from the number of applications for dispensaries that have been submitted. The number is not set in stone and open for additional discussion, Business Administrator John Metro said during the October meeting when the ordinance was introduced.

Metro said the city has approved 23 applications so far with 19 of those applicants considered to be "diverse" in terms of the owner being a minority or woman. State law does not limit the number of dispensaries that can be opened in any municipality but only 37 can be open statewide until February. Currently, 28 are open.

"It is in the city’s best interest to limit the number of cannabis establishments within the city," according to the ordinance. It would not place limits on cultivators, manufacturers, wholesalers distributors or delivery licenses.

The number was too high for Councilman Rich Boggiano, who voted against the ordinance.

"Fifty-five pot places throughout Jersey City I think is a disgrace and a shame,” he said, casting a "no" vote.

Insuring diversity in ownership

Councilman Yousef Saleh voted for the ordinance but wanted to make sure that the remainder of the approved applicants has diverse ownership.

"We need to continue to help the people most desperately impacted by the war on cannabis,” Saleh said.

The ordinance gets a second reading and vote for adoption at the council's next meeting on Nov. 9.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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