Towns and cities that chose to opt out are free to opt in at any time, by amending an existing ordinance or passing a new one. Municipalities that chose to permit cannabis operations in town, though, would need to wait 5 years before dropping out of the industry. Towns are not permitted to opt out of delivery.
"Several municipalities which opted out to preserve their options are now evaluating those regulations and the development of the market to determine their next best steps," said Michael Cerra, executive director of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.
Dover, Maplewood, and South Orange are just a few towns that had passed temporary bans against the legal sale of cannabis but since decided to opt in to the market.
"A lot of towns opted out just so they could know what was going on," said Fruqan Mouzon, partner for Fox Rothschild in Morristown. "Because it's brand new, a lot of people were hesitant."
Mouzon noted opt-outs aren't just an inconvenience for would-be consumers; they also block would-be business owners from being able to obtain a "microlicense," which is specifically crafted for small, mom-and-pop operations that are majority owned by a local resident.