In a recent meeting, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission approved proposed rules that will allow for the operation of cannabis consumption areas in New Jersey, more commonly referred to as cannabis lounges.
As part of the approved rules, cannabis retailers seeking to operate a consumption lounge will require both NJ-CRC approval and municipal approval. Lounges may be indoors or outdoors but must be enclosed.
Lounges must also require guests to be 21+ years of age and cannot over-sell to its consumers. While no food sales will be allowed at lounges, consumers may bring food or have it delivered to the consumption area. Alcohol and tobacco consumption is prohibited.
New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) recommended eliminating the current cap on the number of cannabis cultivation licenses at its February 8, 2023 meeting, among other actions. If that recommendation is adopted, the current limit of 37 licenses would expire on February 22, 2023. According to the CRC, there are only 17 cultivation licenses and awarding additional licenses would help spur New Jersey’s cannabis market.
“The market is developing, and we don’t want to hinder that. The New Jersey canopy is currently only 418,000 square feet – far below the average of other states with legal cannabis. New Jersey currently has only one cultivation license for every 197,000 residents. The national average is one license for every 31,000 residents. We have a lot of room to grow. We expect that lifting the cap will open the space for more cultivators, ultimately resulting in more favorable pricing and better access for patients and other consumers,” Commissioner Maria Del Cid-Kosso stated.
The continuing federal prohibition of marijuana has made cannabis entrepreneurs in New Jersey rely on personal funds or private financing to get their projects up and running. This has put up a significant barrier to entry into the market for many license applicants. In effort to free up financing while various bills continue to be introduced at the federal level, Governor Murphy signed bill S2945 on June 30, 2022, enacted as P.L.2022, c.48., which permits the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to extend financial incentives to certain cannabis businesses as detailed below.
New Jersey’s recreational cannabis market is finally here and in full swing. As the market continues to grow, cannabis license applicants must consider how zoning will impact their contemplated business operations in any given New Jersey municipality. In short, although a license may permit you to operate a cannabis business, zoning will dictate where, when, and “how” – – that is, what conditions are attached to your operation.
To aid applicants in the real estate and zoning component of their businesses and cannabis license applications, this article broadly details the relevant zoning provisions of the Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (CREAMMA or the Act) and New Jersey’s Municipal Land Use Law, the primary zoning legislation in New Jersey, together with issues that both applicant and lawyer alike should consider when applying to a land use board to obtain approval.
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission recently announced their application process for prospective cannabis businesses, including the dates the Commission will begin accepting applications for growers, processors, testing labs and dispensaries.
The Commission will begin accepting applications for personal use (recreational) cannabis businesses on December 15, 2021 for Class 1 Cultivator Licenses, Class 2 Manufacturer Licenses and Testing Laboratories. Applications will begin to be accepted for Class 5 Retails (Dispensaries) on March 15, 2022. Licensing applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with no deadline set to file. In addition, there is no limit on the number of cannabis business licenses that will be made available. However, the number of Cultivator licenses will be held to 37 until February 22, 2023.
The New Jersey Supreme Court recently issued a significant decision in the area of cannabis law. In Hager v MK Construction, the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed that medical cannabis prescriptions are lawful under workers compensation, but that buries the lede. The real impact of Hager is that the New Jersey Supreme Court addressed for the first time the friction between federal and New Jersey state cannabis law.
The employer in this case did not want to reimburse a worker for medical cannabis prescriptions for an injury that occurred on the job. MK Construction argued that the New Jersey Compassionate Use Act (the medical marijuana law in New Jersey) was preempted by the Federal Controlled Substances Act, setting up a showdown between state and federal law.
On February 22, 2021, Governor Philip Murphy signed into law a trio of bills that collectively legalize adult use of recreational cannabis in the State of New Jersey. The legalization of cannabis, more commonly referred to as marijuana, will have a significant impact on workplaces and institutions of higher education across the state of New Jersey. Employers should contact legal counsel for guidance on revising their workplace policies to comply with the new law and ensure a safe and healthy working environment.
The following are key points employers should consider to comply with the new Law.
Three months after New Jersey overwhelmingly voted to legalize recreational cannabis, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a set of bills on Monday that made New Jersey the 13th and latest state to end the prohibition of marijuana. The new laws allow adults over the age of 21 to possess up to six ounces of cannabis and will permit the production, distribution and sale of cannabis in New Jersey by licensed businesses.
There has been one thing missing since New Jersey citizens voted to legalize adult use recreational cannabis: a law signed by Governor Murphy. Since the November election, New Jersey lawmakers proposed and approved legislation that would formally legalize adult use recreational marijuana in New Jersey, but Governor Murphy has not signed the bill based on disagreements regarding penalties for underage cannabis users. The result: limbo.
In a significant step towards the legalization of recreational cannabis in the Garden State, the New Jersey state Assembly and Senate passed Bill S21 on Thursday, making New Jersey poised to become just the fourth state on the east coast to legalize recreational cannabis. The Bill establishes the proposed framework of the industry and is now awaiting the signature of Gov. Murphy.
Earlier this fall, voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis in New Jersey after the New Jersey legislature was unable to pass an earlier draft of the Bill.