New Jersey Opens Public Comment Period for Proposed Cannabis Rule Amendments

Now’s your chance to voice your opinion about proposed rule changes to New Jersey’s adult-use market.

New Jersey residents have the opportunity to provide input on upcoming adult-use cannabis rule updates—input that officials say can have a real impact on the outcome of the final rules.

Public comment on proposed updates to the rules for New Jersey’s adult-use cannabis marketplace is now open from the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC). New Jersey residents have until September 30 to provide input.

The proposed rule amendments—contained in a 325-page document—provide changes to licensing processes for delivery, distribution, and wholesale operations. The proposed amendments also cover safe-use information, waste management, and advertising and promotion.

WHYY reports that under the proposed rule amendments, cannabis retailers and delivery services would be able to sell or deliver no more than one ounce of usable cannabis, five grams of solid cannabis concentrate or five milliliters of cannabis oil. Retailers could also not be able to sell vape formulations containing more than five milliliters of cannabis oil, ingestible cannabis products containing more than 1,000 milligrams of THC, or more than one ounce of any combination of usable cannabis and cannabis products.

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement, Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act, also known as CREAMM Act, was passed on December 27, 2020. New Jersey is one of 18 states to legalize adult-use cannabis.

The CREAMM Act authorizes the CRC to expand the existing Medicinal Cannabis Program, and develop, regulate, and enforce adult-use rules and activities. The public comment period will provide insight into the outstanding issues that may arise.

“The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission has submitted updated rules for the state’s personal-use cannabis market for public comment,” CRC posted in a news release. “New Jersey residents are being invited to give their feedback on the proposed rules up to Friday, September 30, 2022.”

“The rules, which amend the initial regulations adopted by the NJ-CRC in August 2021, establish licensing instructions for cannabis wholesale, distribution, and delivery businesses. They also clarify the working space for microbusinesses to exclude the square footage of bathrooms, enshrine the adopted Universal Symbol, and simplify labeling requirements for cannabinoids to ensure consumers can make informed choices.”

The CREAMM Act requires that the CRC’s 2021 rules be adopted, amended, or readopted prior to an expiration date that takes place on August 19, 2022.  But a notice of proposed readoption extended the expiration date to February 15, 2023. Public input collected during the 60-day comment period may have an actual effect on the rules as they are currently written.

New Jersey 101.5 reports that some of the new changes include reformulated classes of licenses for delivery and manufacturing operations. Local accountant Todd Polyniak, from Parsippany-based Sax LLP, provided some insight.

“You can go from growing it to manufacturing it to wholesaling it to distributing it, and then finally selling it in retail or delivering it to a final customer,” Polyniak said.

He said that problems remain, such as social equity startups that have little time to convert a conditional license into an annual license.

“I think the state still needs to come through with some type of way of funding these startups, especially the social equity startups,” Polyniak said. “They have 120 days plus 45 days to actually execute on that conditional license and convert it into an annual license. So that’s not a whole lot of time to get everything done.”

The full language of the rules and the link to register to provide feedback are available on the website. Residents who wish to comment can register through the CRC’s website.

Updated on August 11 for clarity.

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