Township Committee’s Update on Cannabis Regulations
Legislation Committee recommends an opt-out ordinance as municipalities await final regulations from state regulators
Residents can view the public information session to learn more about the new laws.
On May 27th, Deputy Mayor Mark Gyorfy and Committeewoman Cathy Wilson hosted a public information session for residents to learn more about New Jersey’s new cannabis laws. Joining them were Township Administrator Tim Quinn and Township Attorney Scott Carlson. During the session, Township Attorney Scott Carlson provided a presentation outlining the details of the State’s cannabis laws. Following the presentation, the group listened to comments from the public and answered questions. Residents can watch the video recording here and view the presentation slides here.

As highlighted during the public information session, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s deadline to create the regulations governing the sale, cultivation, and distribution of cannabis is the same as the deadline for municipalities to decide whether or not they would like to permit certain classes of cannabis in their towns. Effectively, municipalities are required to adopt local ordinances prior to final regulations being promulgated. Municipalities that opt-out by the August 22nd deadline have the ability to opt-in at any time over the next five years. However, municipalities that do not opt-out of certain classes by the deadline are required to permit those classes without having the ability to opt-out for five years.

Legislation Committee’s Recommendation

After reviewing the new cannabis laws in detail with Township professional staff, colleagues on the governing body, and members of the public, the Legislation Standing Committee (the subcommittee of the Township Committee tasked to review the cannabis laws) recommends that the Township Committee pass an opt-out ordinance as other neighboring towns recently have. By opting-out ahead of the August 22nd deadline, the Township provides itself with the most flexibility as municipalities await final regulations from the Cannabis Regulatory Commission.

The Township Committee intends to introduce its opt-out ordinance at the June 16th monthly meeting. The public hearing for this ordinance will take place during the July monthly meeting on Wednesday, July 21st. Once the Cannabis Regulatory Commission issues its final regulations, the members of the governing body will complete a thorough review and provide an additional opportunity for residents to participate.

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