On August 19, 2021, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) adopted the first set of rules that will guide the cultivation, manufacture, and sale of adult-use cannabis in New Jersey. Some of the highlights include:
Prioritizing applications from certified minority-, women-, and disabled veteran-owned businesses and from applicants who live or will operate in one of several designated impact zones.
Flexible application requirements for microbusinesses and those applying for conditional licenses.
Application fees as low as $100.
The rules become effective immediately upon filing with the Office of Administrative Law and will remain in effect for up to one year. The CRC will begin accepting applications for cannabis business licenses soon.
You can check out a full summary of the initial rules here.
Gov. Murphy announces final appointments to Cannabis Regulatory Commission
On February 25, 2021, Gov. Murphy announced three appointments to the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC), completing the five-member body. Gov. Murphy appointed Maria Del Cid, Sam Delgado, and Charles Baker as the final three members. Maria Del Cid most recently served as the Director of Policy and Legislative Services at the New Jersey Department of Health. Sam Delgado most recently served as Vice President of External Affairs for Verizon before his retirement in 2019. Since 2017, Charles Baker has served as Constituent Advocate and Projects Specialist for U.S. Senator Cory Booker. These three appointees will join previously announced appointees Commission Chair Dianna Houenou and Krista Nash.
Created under the 2019 “Jake’s Law,” the CRC will regulate New Jersey’s medical cannabis marketplace and provide oversight for the adult-use recreational market.
Gov. Murphy signs three bills ending cannabis prohibition in N.J.
On February 22, 2021, Gov. Murphy signed three bills related to cannabis legalization, ending a three-year campaign to regulate and tax cannabis in the Garden State. In November 2020, New Jerseyans overwhelming approved a ballot referendum supporting cannabis legalization. The following month, the legislature responded with the passage of S.21 and S.2535. However, both measures stalled due to concerns surrounding penalties for underage use.
On February 19, 2021, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced A.5342, which addresses penalties for underage use. On February 22, 2021, both chambers voted to approve A.5342, and Gov. Murphy immediately signed all three bills into law. You can check out a summary of the bills here.
Although Gov. Murphy’s signature means the end of arrests and prosecution for cannabis in New Jersey, it will likely take a few months before residents are able to purchase cannabis from retailers as the recently formed Cannabis Regulatory Commission develops rules for adult-use licenses.
Medical cannabis program expanded
On June 2, 2019, Gov. Phil Murphy signed A20, also known as Jake’s Law — named after Jake Honig, a pediatric patient who used medical cannabis during his battle with cancer. The law institutes many much needed reforms to the medical cannabis program, including:
expanding qualifying conditions, including by adding chronic pain;
providing anti-discrimination protections, including related to education, rental housing, professional licensing, and employment;
expanding access, including by increasing the number of cultivators, retailers, and manufacturers; and
allowing home delivery.
A more detailed summary of the changes can be found here.