Executives from the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) at the NJ League of Municipalities last week provided an overview of the newly adopted regulations to implement the legalization of adult recreational use of marijuana. The panel session, moderated by the president of the NJ League of Municipalities, Clinton Mayor Janice Kovach, featured CRC chair Dianna Houenou and executive director Jeff Brown.
The CRC has the power to establish the requirements for applying for a license, set fees, enforce restrictions to protect public health and safety and impost sanctions for businesses that violate the rules, including fines, suspension, or revocation of a license. As executive director of the commission, Brown is responsible for the management of the office and the operations necessary to regulate New Jersey cannabis industry. Appointed by Gov. Phil Murphy in 2021, Houenou works with Brown and other members of the commission to operate New Jersey first agency to regulate the adult-use cannabis market.
Among the topics covered at the presentation were: application timetables and fees, how to ensure equity in establishing legal marijuana businesses, the legality of delivery services (such as "Doober"), and other topics. Brown and Houenou said the initial regulations focus on:
- Establishing the personal-use (recreational) cannabis industry in New Jersey,
- Emphasizing social and economic equity and safety,
- Outlining the application process and fee structure for transparency, and
- Upholding municipal authority.