Cannabis Law October Update

New Jersey Weekly Bar Report

On Monday, October 18, 2021, the New Jersey Law Journal’s weekly Bar Report spoke with NJSBA Cannabis Law Committee Co-Chairs Joshua S. Bauchner, Esq. (of Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC) and Lisa Gora, Esq. (of Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, PA) about the legal landscape surrounding the new state law and what can be expected in the early days of this new industry. The Report includes a Q&A that touches on the new law’s impact on attorneys, opportunities for New Jersey entrepreneurs, municipal involvement, and current expected timelines. A copy of the report can be viewed here.


Cannabis Regulatory Commission Meeting

On Friday, October 15, 2021, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission held a meeting during which they voted on and issued recommendations for applicants for Cultivator and Vertically Integrated Licenses as part of the 2019 RFA round. The Commission did not take any action with regard to applicants for Dispensary Licenses. Initially, it was expected that five (5) Cultivator Licenses and four (4) Vertically Integrated Licenses would be awarded. At the meeting, the Commission announced that they would be recommending double the number of Cultivator Licenses. The Commission stipulated that these Cultivator Licensees will need to operate for one (1) year prior to being able to begin adult-use sales. A recording of the meeting will be available on the Commission’s website shortly.


New Jersey Law Journal

On Monday, October 18, 2021, the New Jersey Law Journal published HIGH-lights: A Look at Personal Use Cannabis Rules Adopted by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission. The article, a collaboration between Zachary L. Windham, Esq., of Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC and Lisa Gora, Esq., of Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, PA, focuses on the upcoming adult-use application process in light of the initial regulations released by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission. The article discusses who will receive “prioritization” in the application process and the impact of receiving such priority, as well as surmising when and what to expect for application submission window(s) given the limited details on the topic within the Commission’s initial rules. A copy of the article can be found here.


2018 RFA Awards Still Outstanding

 Despite the Commission’s award of 14 new licenses to applicants from the 2019 RFA, the results of the 2018 RFA are still pending. It has been nearly three (3) years since several rejected applicants filed suit against the state due to lack of transparency and endemic errors in the scoring process implemented by the Department of Health. Last November, a three-judge appellate court vacated the initial 2018 awards and ordered the DOH to develop a new rating system for applications and to increase transparency. The responsibility for reevaluating these applications has been transferred to the Cannabis Regulatory Commission. The Commission has stated that the 2018 RFA applications are still under review. Appellants recently wrote the CRC requesting information on resolving this three-year old matter, however there is no indication of when this review might be completed.


Cannabis Regulatory Commission Cannabis Informational Webinar

On Wednesday, October 13, 2021, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission held an informational webinar. During the webinar, the Commission briefly explained the equity and safety provisions in the initial rules as well as providing general guidance for municipalities. The Commission also discussed basic application requirements and what preliminary steps businesses can take to prepare for applying. The biggest news from the webinar was likely the Commission’s statement that Class 5 Retail License holders will be permitted to provide delivery services for their own products without holding a separate Class 6 Delivery Service License. A recording of the webinar can be viewed here.


NJSBA CLE:  Latest Developments In Cannabis Law

On Thursday, October, 28 2021 the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Committee will be hosting a seminar to discuss The Latest Developments In Cannabis Law, including the Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s initial regulations for the industry. In addition to the personal use cannabis regulations, there will be a panel of township officials to discuss Municipalities and Town Councils, as well as a discussion of corporate and real estate transactions; whether that be the acquisition or disposition of a cannabis operation or the real estate considerations when acquiring real property for, and when leasing to or by, a cannabis operation.


Program Chairs are Joshua S. Bauchner, Esq. of Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC, and Lisa Gora, Esq. of Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, PA. Speakers will include John Barree AICP, PP of Heyer, Gruel & Associates, Jack Fersko, Esq. of Greenbaum Rowe Smith & Davis, LLP, Mollie F. Hartman Lustig, Esq. of Cappuzzo, PC, Michael A. Hoffman, Esq. of The Hoffman Centers, PC, Mayor Ryan Martinez of Butler, Morris County, Ronald P. Mondello, Esq. of Law Offices of Ronald P. Mondello, Robert E. Schiappacasse, Esq. of Sills Cummis & Gross P.C, Mayor Domenick Stampone of Haledon, Passaic County, and Sarah Trent, Founder and CEO of Valley Wellness.


For more information and to register for the NJICLE Seminar – Latest Developments In Cannabis Law click here.