Nj legalization weed

Nj legalization weed DEFAULT

Recreational marijuana is coming to New Jersey, but it won’t be on every corner.

In Philadelphia’s South Jersey suburbs, 40 of municipalities have opened their doors to cannabis businesses within their borders under New Jersey’s legalization law, which was signed in February and allowed towns to ban marijuana businesses ― but not the delivery of cannabis to residents.

The number of towns allowing cannabis businesses is expected to grow. Some of the 60 that opted out, such as the city of Camden and Bellmawr, did so by an August deadline to gain more time to write local regulations but intend to allow at least some of the law’s six types of cannabis businesses.

Some local New Jersey officials, including in Camden, have expressed enthusiasm for the arrival of the recreational cannabis industry as a way to spur local commerce. Statewide, the industry is expected to quickly reach $1 billion in sales, boosted by Pennsylvanians trekking across the Delaware River. Medical cannabis has been allowed since

“There is an opportunity to move the city in a different direction, to build and stimulate the economy using this legislation as a leverage tool,” Dwaine Williams, Camden’s affirmative action officer and a member of the Cannabis Ad Hoc Committee, told Camden City Council during a Sept. 7 hearing.

It is not clear when New Jersey’s recreational marijuana sales will start. The Cannabis Control Commission issued preliminary regulations on Aug. 19 but missed a Sept. 18 deadline to begin accepting applications. The commission has scheduled an Oct. 13 webinar to answer questions from municipalities and applicants.

“I don’t mind the delays because that means people get more educated, people who have unanswered questions have time to research,” said Nichelle Pace, chair of the Camden Cannabis Committee and vice president of the Camden Business Association.

» READ MORE: Don’t look for Stone Harbor to become Stoned Harbor anytime soon.

New Jersey’s recreational cannabis legalization law was designed to ensure that people of color as well as those who have past convictions for marijuana offenses or who live in economically disadvantaged areas have a fair shot at getting into the newly legal industry after a decades-long prohibition that disproportionately hurt Black people.

Despite those efforts, experts say it won’t be easy for small-time entrepreneurs or even experienced sellers in the illegal market ― now often called the traditional or legacy market — to break into legal cannabis because hiring lawyers and consultants to get through the licensing process doesn’t come cheap.

The six types of licenses under New Jersey law are for cultivators, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and delivery services. Within those categories, there are standard licenses and licenses for microbusinesses, which are limited to 10 employees and other restrictions.

The Cannabis Regulatory Commission, led by a former lawyer for the ACLU of New Jersey, has said it will prioritize such applicants, and those from areas with high unemployment or large numbers of marijuana arrests.

Another feature of New Jersey’s legalization effort designed to level the playing field for small-business applicants is the creation of conditional licenses. That gives an applicant approved by the cannabis commission days to find a town and a property where the business can locate.

With a conditional license in hand, an applicant might be able to attract money from investors or “a town might roll out the red carpet because it wants a winner as opposed to an applicant,” said William Caruso, managing director at Archer Public Affairs, a lobbying firm.

Some towns have taken pains in their ordinances to foster racial diversity in the industry.

Willingboro, a majority-Black township in Burlington County, wanted to increase the chances that its residents could benefit from starting a marijuana business there by offering discounts on the local fee structure, said Samantha Whitfield, a township councilwoman.

The township has high application fees — up to $60, — but allows “a reduction in fees if you are a resident of the municipality, if you employ residents within the municipality, and also if you are a Black- or a minority-owned business, [and] if you are a woman-owned business,” Whitfield said.

The same rules apply to annual licensing fees.

Mount Holly’s ordinance goes even further, eliminating the township’s annual licensing fee entirely if criteria are met.

In Moorestown, at least two of the four licenses allowed in the township must be awarded to microbusinesses.

“What we really want to do is support entrepreneurs to get in this business and give a chance to the small business to take off,” Mayor Nicole Gillespie said.

In addition to setting local fees, declaring which and how many of the six types of licenses will be allowed in a municipality, the ordinances do what is typical for local laws.

They lay out where cannabis businesses are allowed to open, how big their lots much be, how far they must be from a church or school, what hours they are allowed to operate, how much parking they need, and regulate signs (no cannabis imagery allowed on buildings).

Getting through that thicket is not going to be easy for small-time applicants.

Unless an applicant is aiming at one particular town to apply in, finding the ordinances for a wide range of towns is a laborious process requiring checking each one — or paying for an expensive service.

The first screen for an entrepreneur is whether the town even allows cannabis businesses, said Paul P. Josephson, a partner in the Cherry Hill office of Duane Morris LLP.

“Then you have to find a landlord who is willing to rent to you. If the landlord has a bank, the bank generally will not let them rent to you. You have a very limited number of properties that you can go into, and then you have to hope that you have enough parking to serve the need,” he said.

“It’s not easy for anybody, and those who come to the table with fewer resources absolutely are at some disadvantage,” Josephson said, acknowledging the effort New Jersey has made to help applicants who don’t have $, to start.

The ACLU of New Jersey wants the state to do more to ensure that the people most harmed by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition have access to the money needed to start a business in the sector, said Ami Kachalia, an ACLU campaign strategist.

The ACLU is advocating for the New Jersey Legislature to appropriate $ million for a Social Equity Cannabis Fund, housed in the Cannabis Regulatory Commission, to provide grants or low- or no-interest loans to disadvantaged applicants.

“Access to capital is a key part of any business getting off the ground and being successful, and that includes cannabis businesses,” Kachalia said.

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Sours: https://www.inquirer.com/business/weed/marijuana-dispensary-recreational-cannabis-nj-legal-businesshtml

Healthy New Jersey

NJCRC to hold virtual cannabis informational webinar

Wednesday, October 13, 7 p.m.

TRENTON – New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission will host an informational webinar on Wednesday, October 13, , at 7 p.m.  The webinar will focus on illuminating the recently established recreational cannabis rules, particularly as they relate to municipalities, community members, and potential entrants into the industry. Tuesday’s virtual webinar is aimed at ensuring awareness about accessing the cannabis industry in all of New Jersey’s 21 counties.

The Zoom webinar will cover an overview of the recreational cannabis rules, a breakdown of the social equity provisions, what potential applicants can do to prepare for applications, protections for financial service agreements and other contracts, and expectations for neighborhoods with cannabis businesses.

Members of the public may submit questions to be answered during the meeting to [email protected] by noon on Tuesday, October 12th.

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission establishes and enforces the rules and regulations governing the licensing, cultivation, testing, selling, and purchasing of cannabis in the state.

Sours: https://www.nj.gov/cannabis/
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Cannabis Legalization

Governor Murphy signed into law legislation legalizing and regulating cannabis use and possession for adults 21 years and older, A (P.L,c). The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act, and decriminalizing marijuana and hashish possession, A (P.L,c).  

The Governor also signed S (P.L,c), clarifying marijuana and cannabis use and possession penalties for individuals younger than 21 years old.

DOWNLOAD: March 18, Legislative Briefing

DOWNLOAD: March 3, , Legislative Briefing

Municipal Considerations

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission released the first set of regulations on August 19, For details, review the August 26 Special Update from NJLM.

CRC Regulations answer Frequently Asked Questions for Municipalities on the cannabis market components.

NJAC Personal Use file shares insights and specifics on the Personal Use Cannabis Rules which expire August 19,

Background

  • Opt-In or Opt-Out Timeline: Municipalities had days (until August 21, ) to take action to either prohibit or limit the number of cannabis establishments, distributors, or delivery services; the location, manner, and times of operation, and establishing civil penalties for violation of ordinances.
  • Existing Ordinances: Any existing municipal ordinances regulating or prohibiting cannabis are null and void. They must be readopted to be effective.
  • No Action Result: If municipalities do not take action within days, any class of cannabis establishment or distributor will be permitted to operate in the municipality, and depending on the type of establishment, be considered a permitted use in certain zones.
  • 5-Year Periods: A municipality that fails to enact an ordinance prohibiting the operation of one or more classes of cannabis establishments, before August 21, , is precluded from passing an ordinance banning the operation for a period of 5 years. After this 5-year period, a municipality has another day window to prohibit or limit cannabis operations, but this action only applies prospectively. Those who initially opt-out can opt-in at any time.
  • Local Cannabis Tax: Municipalities can enact by ordinance a local cannabis tax that cannot exceed 2% for cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, and/or retailer; and 1% for wholesalers. The tax percentage is based on the receipts for each sale and is paid directly to the municipality in the manner prescribed by the municipality. Any delinquencies are treated the same as delinquent property taxes. The tax cannot apply to delivery services to consumers or transfers for the purpose of bulk transportation.
  • Delivery Rights: A municipality cannot prohibit the delivery of cannabis items and related supplies by a delivery service within their jurisdiction.
  • Civil Rights: When responding to a call related to underage consumption or possession of cannabis or alcohol can be guilty of a crime of official deprivation of civil rights if knowingly violating the provisions of the new law regarding interactions with underage persons. 

State Resource Page

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced the launch of a Marijuana Decriminalization & Cannabis Legalization Resource Page. The webpage is intended to provide resources and information for police and prosecutors to help them navigate the new laws and policy. The Resource Page provides access to newly issued AG Directive , governing the dismissals of certain pending marijuana charges, and access to interim guidance for law enforcement officers regarding marijuana decriminalization.

The Attorney General's office has also produced a downloadable Q&A page on Cannabis topics.

League Stance

While the League does not have a position on the topic of legalized recreational marijuana, we provide information as a tool for our members at a time when legalization is being considered by New Jersey’s citizens. The League’s Task Force has explored and researched the impacts of the legalization of adult recreational use on municipalities. 

In addition, NJLM formed a coalition with the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association and the New Jersey Conference of Mayors. While the coalition does not take a position on legalization, we are working together to ensure that municipal interests are protected.


Updated: August 26,

Sours: https://www.njlm.org//Cannabis-Legalization
Marijuana is officially legal in New Jersey

It’s been almost a year since New Jersey voters passed by a margin a “Constitutional Amendment to Legalize Marijuana,” as it was misleadingly labeled.

It was misleading because the title would lead you to think that once the amendment passed you might be able to go to the local pot store and buy some “Alice B. Toklas brownies.”

That was the name of the first form of edible marijuana that most Americans ever heard of.

Toklas was the confidante of writer Gertrude Stein on the ′s Paris scene. She wrote a book in which she included the recipe for a sort of chocolate fudge laced with cannabis.

“It might provide an entertaining refreshment for a Ladies’ Bridge Club or a chapter meeting of the DAR,” Toklas wrote. “Euphoria and brilliant storms of laughter; ecstatic reveries and extensions of one’s personality on several simultaneous planes are to be complacently expected.”

Not in New Jersey. As we approach the first anniversary of that amendment’s passage, the new bureaucracy called “The Cannabis Regulatory Commission” has not yet accomplished the simple task of legalizing marijuana.

But the CRC has one major accomplishment: It has prohibited the sale of any marijuana products “resembling food.” The only acceptable edibles will be lozenges.

The regulations exclude brownies, cookies, and those chocolate bars that are so popular with the customers at NJ Weedman’s restaurant/pot dispensary on State Street in Trenton.

The Weedman, otherwise known as Ed Forchion, runs what you might call a “free-market” dispensary. So far the powers-that-be have let his business operate, possibly because it’s the only thriving business on that stretch of State Street.

Forchion is applying for a license. But if he gets one he’ll have to stop selling some of the most popular products in his store.

“Women buy edibles,” he said. “Women don’t want to be smoking in public, so they have a cookie in their purse and then reach in now and then and eat it.”

As for men, the male marijuana users of my acquaintance like nothing more than to bogart a big bone, if I may lapse into jargon.

But towns all over the state are strengthening their anti-smoking ordinances to counter the pot smokers. So why ban the sort of marijuana that produces no fumes?

Evan Nison of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML) said that is counter-productive.

“Edibles are important for a lot of reasons,” said Nison. “There are people who don’t want to get something into their lungs. There are landlords who don’t permit any smoking at all. It’s definitely an important category.”

The CRC media people didn’t return my request for comment, so I don’t know their thinking. But Nison said the regulators feel a need to regulate the kitchens where the edibles are manufactured.

Weedman said that’s an insult to the people who make the edibles.

“Women dominate the edible field,” he said. “All these local little edible places are all run by women.”

He sells plenty of their products and none of his customers report any problems, he said. But if he has to stop selling those edibles, then a whole lot of his female customers will go back to the black market, he said.

That market’s thriving at the moment. All over the state entrepreneurs are selling marijuana products, often with home delivery.

“You buy some seemingly overpriced item like cookies, hoodies, hats or stickers and the driver can personally choose to also give you the weed or withhold it if you look underage or sketchy,” NJ.com’s Amy Z. Quinn wrote.

Then there are the entrepreneurs who have followed in the Weedman’s footsteps and opened dispensaries. Last week the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office raided a dispensary in Garfield. Four people were arrested and charged with crimes ranging from money laundering to maintaining a drug production facility.

Well, someone’s got to do it. And the state plainly isn’t up to the task. Last week the Cannabis Regulatory Commission missed a deadline for beginning to accept new applications for business licenses.

That was hardly a shocker. The state still hasn’t processed the applications for medicinal marijuana licenses that were accepted way back in

The issue of edibles may be a small one in the overall scheme of things. But the need to pursue social justice was a prominent topic during the legislative hearings on legalization.

When it comes to social justice, “The black market in edibles is gonna expand and it’s gonna a women-run black market.”

That’s social justice of a sort. But if I may deduce the flaw in the regulators’ reasoning here, it is obvious:

The way to make something legal is to stop making it illegal.

The voters seemed to understand that.

But once the regulators start regulating, they just can’t seem to stop.

(Follow me as Paul Mulshine on Facebook and @mulshine on Twitter)

Sours: https://www.nj.com/opinion//09/state-regulators-take-a-big-bite-out-of-the-marijuana-market-mulshine.html

Legalization weed nj

Recreational marijuana is legal in N.J. What happens now?

But she added that current medical marijuana operators, which already have the retail infrastructure in place, might be able to begin recreational sales earlier, so long as they can meet the demands of their patients first.

“The law does provide those medicinal operators a pathway to serving the broader adult-use recreational community,” Houenou said.

The work is just now beginning for Houenou and other state regulators, who must decide, among other things, which cannabis products will be permitted in the state and which applicants will get licenses.

The business community is eager to jump in.

“We’re ready for the new day,” said Edmund DeVeaux, president of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association.

Licenses will be available for six different sectors of the weed economy: cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, and delivery. There will also be licenses set aside for “microbusinesses” with 10 or fewer employees.

How social justice fits in

Murphy and many lawmakers have said their main motivation for supporting legalized recreational marijuana was social justice.

An ACLU analysis of New Jersey arrest data found that Black residents were arrested for marijuana possession at a rate times higher than their white counterparts, despite similar rates of usage.

An ACLU graphic shows that Black New Jersey residents were arrested at times more than their white counterparts for marijuana possession in

Advocates also wanted to ensure that the Black and Latino communities over-policed during the war on drugs would now be able to reap the benefits of the new legal marketplace.

Houenou said “equity” would “flow through” all of the decisions that the CRC would have to make, from advertising to quality control requirements to how the application process is set up and what fees might be required. (But already, the commission has fielded criticism for having no Black men on the panel and possibly failing to include a member of a national organization battling social inequality, as the law requires.)

Deveaux praised the focus on social justice. “We are going to work with the CRC in terms of helping to establish application processes with lower bars to entry, so that people from disadvantaged communities can in fact engage with this industry, which essentially was born off of their hard work over almost a century,” he said.

Prioritization for licenses will be given to businesses located in areas called “impact zones,” which are cities and towns that were “negatively impacted by past marijuana enterprises that contributed to higher concentrations of law enforcement activity, unemployment, and poverty,” according to the new state law. Those zones have yet to be identified.

Those zones will also see a higher share of tax revenue from weed sales. Seventy percent of sales tax proceeds from recreational marijuana transactions will be sent to “impact zones” as grants, loans, and other financial aid. The remaining tax revenue, or 30%, will be used to pay for the operating costs of the commission and reimbursements for towns, counties, and the New Jersey State Police for training officers who can spot drivers impaired by drugs.

Still, Houenou is clear-eyed about how quickly the state will be able to reverse the ill effects of what Murphy previously called New Jersey’s “broken and indefensible” drug laws.

“I don’t expect all of the harms from the war on drugs to be erased with the first set of licenses that the commission issues. I don’t expect the harms to be erased, even after three years of operating legalized cannabis in New Jersey,” Houenou said.

“It’s going to take time. We’re talking about undoing a decades-long war on drugs, and that doesn’t happen in one, two, or even three years.”

Sours: https://whyy.org/articles/recreational-marijuana-is-legal-in-n-j-what-happens-now/
Sen. Scutari talks about what’s next for legal marijuana in NJ I Chat Box

EDITOR’S NOTE:NJ Cannabis Insider is hosting an in-person day-long conference and networking event Sept. 23 at the Carteret Performing Arts Center, featuring many of the state’s leading power players. Tickets are limited.

This week brought major progress in the long journey to launch legal weed sales in New Jersey, as the state’s powerful commission adopted its first rules and regulations.

But that leaves many wondering: Can I legally purchase it now?

Those eagerly awaiting the opening of dispensary doors will have to stay patient. But we do know one thing: With the rules now out, the commission must set a date within the next six months for legal sales to begin, according to the legalization law.

We just don’t have any hints right now as to when that date will be.

During a press conference following the commission’s meeting, the chair, Dianna Houenou, said that it will “take a little while” before sales can begin, as the commission is focused first on opening up the application process to license new businesses. She said that will be “forthcoming within the next few weeks.”

Many of the rules unveiled Thursday focus on social and racial equity in licensing new cannabis businesses and health and safety regulations.

But a section guiding consumers noted that those 21 and older can purchase and possess one ounce of cannabis products under the legalization law. The decriminalization law, which ended arrests and fines for possession, allows people to possess up to six ounces of marijuana without any legal consequences. The discrepancy comes from differences in the two pieces of legislation.

Licensing new businesses is vital to getting a robust industry running, but consumers won’t have to wait that long to start shopping. New Jersey’s established medical marijuana operators will likely get the first chance at selling to the public once they can prove they have enough product to meet both patient and adult demand. But a history of stagnation in the medical marijuana program will likely prove an obstacle here.

For years, the state only allowed for six dispensaries. Gov. Phil Murphy took office and doubled the number of companies operating in the state and allowed them to open up to three dispensaries each. But the number of patients ballooned, too, as more the state expanded the number of medical issues that qualify to use cannabis.

The state again tried to increase the program’s size in , opening up a new licensing round that would add two dozen new medical marijuana licenses to grow, process or sell cannabis. But a lawsuit halted the process for more than a year, and the commission has not yet awarded new licenses — although they say an announcement is coming.

According to the regulations, the medical dispensaries must show they can legally grow, process and sell recreational marijuana in their home cities and towns, certify they have sufficient product to serve patients and customers 21 and older and that they will not make operational changes that favor the legal market over the medical one.

When determining a start date for these dispensaries to open their doors, the commission will consider the total number of patients in the state and enrollment at that specific dispensary, statewide and dispensary inventory, the amount of cannabis being grown in the state and at the facility, and the amount needed to serve patients.

When asked about supply, the commission’s executive director Jeff Brown said “supply in the medical market is stronger than it has ever been,” but also noted the increased demand from some , registered patients.

“There’s more to do there on a supply side, more so on an access side,” he said.

He did not give specific figures on the amount of cannabis being grown statewide currently.

Amanda Hoover may be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @amandahoovernj.

Sours: https://www.nj.com/marijuana//08/nj-legal-weed-rules-are-here-so-when-can-i-buy-it.html

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