Two New Jersey attorneys are expecting positive growth after Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill into law Monday that would expand investment in cannabis dispensaries owned by minorities, women or disabled veterans.
Hours after the stunning April 13 vote – which would have prohibited Curaleaf from selling adult-use cannabis at two of its three storefronts and impacted operations at both of its South Jersey cultivation facilities – the company raised concerns about the decision, requesting a stay to allow time for judicial review.
Marijuana dispensaries across New Jersey can now create a lounge space for customers to use the products after purchasing them.
For those who don’t want to smoke at home, this could be a big change since it is illegal to smoke cannabis in public. But the rules and regulations could have some dispensary owners saying it’s not worth it.
“The law does not allow you to have these consumption lounges to sell alcohol,” says attorney Jennifer Cabrera.
The Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics issued an opinion stating that New Jersey lawyers may use regulated cannabis, and may operate or invest in a regulated cannabis business, without violating the Rules of Professional Conduct.
The committee stated that its opinion stemmed from an inquiry on the use of regulated cannabis and multiple attorney ethics research hotline calls from New Jersey lawyers inquiring about the rules surrounding the operation of or investment in cannabis businesses.
The workplace guidelines released by the state agency overseeing cannabis has employers dazed and confused over what they can do to discipline a worker who might be high on the job.
Cannabis law experts and employment attorneys called the rules and their rollout vague and baffling, and said the suggestions outlined are impractical to implement and keep businesses in a “state of limbo.”
“I see a lot of risk from both the employer and the employees’ side that’s a little concerning,” said Sean Sanders, a Pine Brook-based employment attorney at Frier Levitt.
New Jersey's Cannabis Regulatory Commission has had the somewhat unenviable task of overseeing the debut of recreational-use marijuana sales in the state, but after three months some areas of concern are emerging.
And there don't seem to be ready-made answers, according to Todd Polyniak, who leads the cannabis practice for Parsippany-based firm Sax, LLC and works with clients who have applied for recreational retail licenses.
To aid applicants in the real estate and zoning component of their businesses and cannabis license applications, this article broadly details the relevant zoning provisions of the Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (CREAMMA or the Act) and New Jersey’s Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL), the primary zoning legislation in New Jersey, together with issues that both applicant and lawyer alike should consider when applying to a land use board to obtain approval.
CREAMMA, the MLUL, and Municipal Ordinances
According to Paul Josephson, a team lead for the Duane Morris cannabis industry group in New Jersey, a spotlight needs to be put on section 37 of the Cannabis Regulatory Enforcement Assistance and Marketplace Modernization (CREAMM Act).
In addition to regulating medical and recreational sales in New Jersey, the law lays out the rules for companies that want to buy property to use as a dispensary or grow/production facility. It partly reads:
STILL ILLEGAL: And you still can’t grow your own cannabis.
New Jersey is the only state that doesn’t even allow its medical marijuana patients to grow cannabis at home. And when it comes to recreational customers, we’re joined by Washington.
Growing even one marijuana plant is still a third-degree crime, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine. It’s just as illegal today as it was on Feb. 21, 2021, before weed was legalized in New Jersey.
Fox Rothschild LLP announced Thursday that Fruqan Mouzon has joined the firm’s Morristown office as a partner in the Litigation and Cannabis practices.
With more than two decades of public and private sector experience, Mouzon will focus his practice on cannabis law, litigation and regulatory compliance.