Q. When do we need to decide whether to opt in or out?
A. Municipalities have 180 days from the effective date (February 22, 2021) of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (CREAMMA) to opt-out of specific cannabis license Classes, or by August 21, 2021.
Q. What happens if we do not make a decision before the opt-out deadline?
A. If no action is taken, Class 5 license activity (cannabis retailers) will be a conditional use in all commercial zones or retail zones and Class 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 license activities (cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, & delivery respectively) will be permitted uses in all industrial zones. In effect, taking no action equates to opting-in.
Q. Can we choose to opt-out of specific license Classes?
A. Yes. A municipality may prohibit the operation of any one or more license Classes. However, the license Class(es) you do permit will fall under the default zoning requirements without additional municipal action.
Q. Can we prohibit adult-use cannabis establishments if we already have an Alternative Treatment Center dispensary in our municipality.
A. Yes. However, a prohibition ordinance could impact the Alternative Treatment Center’s ability to participate in the adult-use cannabis market depending on the license Class(es) you prohibit in the ordinance.
Q. Can we limit the number of licenses of a particular Class?
A. Yes. Municipalities can restrict the number of available licenses for each Class of license permitted in the Municipality.
Q. What sort of distance requirements can we place on cannabis licenses?
A. You can require that cannabis licenses be minimum distances from places like schools, houses of worship, childcare facilities, substance rehabilitation facilities, etc. You can tailor the requirements by cannabis license class or location, requiring licensees maintain a certain distance. You can also require that cannabis licensees be a minimum distance from other cannabis licensees and specify by license class.
Q. Can we regulate the signage/store front of a cannabis licensee?
A. Yes. You can regulate a cannabis establishment’s signage as you would any other business in your municipality.
Q. Can we create a local licensing process for potential licensees?
A. Yes. Municipalities can impose their own local licensing requirements as part of the restrictions on the number of cannabis licenses.
Q. Can we make state licensure a requirement for municipal approval?
A. No. CREAMMA dictates that a municipality shall notify the Cannabis Regulatory Commission that it either approves or denies each application forwarded to it. Therefore, municipal approval is a prerequisite to receiving a state license from the Commission.