City Council adopted a pair of ordinances last week to amend the city’s cannabis and land-management codes. The amendments specify which cultivation practices are allowed within city limits and create a new city cannabis committee designed to streamline the municipal regulatory process.
The amended cannabis code explicitly bans the outdoor growth of marijuana within the city, an issue that has been debated elsewhere in Atlantic County.
There were resolutions the council passed unanimously that supported cultivation licenses.
Now that New Jersey has legalized marijuana use and possession for adults 21 years and older, South Jersey municipalities have begun adopting their own rules to address use and sale.
And while, many towns are opting to ban it, some are now opening the door to the industry based on the promise of job creation and tax benefits.
But MPX NJ’s “Be” hasn’t opened its doors off the Boardwalk as planned.
The company’s relationship with its investor iAnthus has soured, and some former leaders at MPX NJ are out. The two companies have argued over which has rights to build out the property and are wrestling now for control over the license. It’s one of only 12 the state has awarded.
As the property languishes, New Jersey’s 113,000 medical marijuana patients struggle to find affordable and accessible cannabis. Many have reported long lines and commutes only to encounter product shortages.
Now that New Jersey has legalized marijuana use and possession for adults 21 years and older, South Jersey municipalities have begun adopting their own rules to address use and sale. Under the N.J. Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act towns have until Aug. 21 - 180 days from the adoption of the state law - to create any local enforcement structure. Towns that do not act by then will be governed by the state's law.
Here's how communities are responding in South Jersey:
One challenge is the growing number of municipalities across the state that have enacted bans on the budding industry. According to NJ.com, dozens of cities and towns have preemptively blocked the sale of recreational cannabis within their borders. South Jersey municipalities that have passed bans include Bridgeton in Cumberland County, Lumberton in Burlington County, Manning Township and Upper Pittsgrove in Salem County, and Pleasantville and Somers Point in Atlantic County.
Two marijuana firms are embroiled in a legal fight over the ownership of a Pleasantville cultivation facility.
MPX NJ, a group owned primarily by Elizabeth Stavola, last week sued iAnthus Capital Management and its New Jersey subsidiary, claiming the company illegally highjacked the operation of the Pleasantville Alternative Treatment Center, for which the two firms hold a shared lease.
The final medical marijuana dispensary licensed by New Jersey in 2018 can start growing cannabis, the state Health Department said Monday.
Justice Grown in Ewing received its permit to cultivate last week, the department said in a release. The brings the state total to 12.
While a dozen alternative treatment centers can now grow weed, only seven have permission to sell it. Two of the companies also have satellite dispensaries, for a total of nine storefronts.
A medical marijuana dispensary slated to open just blocks from a competitor on the Atlantic City Boardwalk can move forward despite attempts to block it, a court has ruled.
On Thursday, a state appellate court denied a motion filed by Compassionate Care Foundation to stay the licensing process of MPX NJ, which plans to open soon and become a competing neighbor of Compassionate Care.
CCF argues in its brief that the state Department of Health has an obligation to spread the dispensaries throughout the state, under both the state law that legalized medical marijuana and its own prior policies.
“It’s an access issue, not a competition issue,” Chairman of the Board David Knowlton said. “There is no dispensary in Salem, Gloucester, (Burlington) or Cape May counties, so the opportunity to spread these out is right there. Yet they put two within spitting distance. It’s inappropriate.”