PARSIPPANY — On February 22, Governor Murphy signed into law the Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act which legalizes and regulates the use and possession of recreational cannabis by adults 21 years or older.
The law legalizes and regulates the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and retail sale of recreational cannabis by cannabis businesses and establishes a State Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) to establish regulations for both medical and recreational cannabis and oversee applications for licensing.
The Act establishes six classes of commercial recreational cannabis licenses:
Class 1 – Cultivator License: Permitting the growing and cultivating of cannabis;
Class 2 – Manufacturer License: Permitting the manufacturing, preparation, and packaging of cannabis items;
Class 3 – Wholesaler: Permitting the obtaining and selling of cannabis items for resale by other licensees;
Class 4 – Distribution: Permitting the transport of cannabis plants in bulk between licensed cultivators, or the transport of cannabis items in bulk between licensees;
Class 5 – Retailer: permitting the sale of cannabis items and cannabis-related supplies; and
Class 6 – Delivery: Permitting the provision of delivery services to consumers for cannabis-related purchases being fulfilled by a licensed retailer.
The Township appointed a working group to evaluate, suggest and present to the Township Council their recommendations to create an ordinance regulating Cannabis. The working group consisted of Mayor Michael Soriano, Council President Michael dePierro, Councilwoman Janice McCarthy Business Administrator Fred Carr, Township Attorney James Lott, Attorney Diane Hickey, and Township Planner Susan Favate.
The Township must act and pass an ordinance by August 22 to establish regulations if Parsippany wants any or all of the classes to be permitted within the township. All classes are also subject to licensing by the state as well as the Township and must meet all zoning regulations.
If the municipality fails to act by August 22, a statutory default will be automatically applied, permitting all types of cannabis businesses to locate in Parsippany, subject to local zoning conditions.
The consensus of the Working Group was to permit and regulate only Class 3 (Wholesale) and Class 4 (distribution) within the Township.
Also, they decided there were only two licenses per class to be issued.
The application must have zoning approval before it can apply for an application. The licenses are renewed annually. Classes 3 and 4 cannabis businesses would be permitted in the SED-3, SED-3A, SED-5, SED-5A, LIW-2, and LIW-5 zones only. (see map). Among the requirements are establishments must have frontage on arterial or collector roads or specific local roads and a minimum required lot size would be the lot size permitted in the zoning district or three acres, whichever is greater. Additional requirements must also be met (fences, signage, etc).
- No cannabis establishment may be located within 1,000 feet of any school property (including property owned or leased by a public school board);
- 500 feet of the real property comprising a public housing facility, public park, or public building (except for several properties along New Road including the sewer treatment facility); or
- 500 feet of a residential zone district boundary or commercial residential mixed-use zone district boundary.
- Hours of operation: 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
- All operations must be within a completely enclosed building or buildings.
- Additional provisions for storage, consumption on-premises, and security and reporting to Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department.
As per law, the Township would receive a transfer tax of 1% of the receipts from each sale by a Class 3 Cannabis Wholesaler. Class 4 Cannabis Distributor establishments not authorized for transfer tax based on State legislation.
The ordinance is expected to have the first reading on June 15. Referral to Planning Board on June 21 with a second reading by the Township Council on July 6.
Adoption must occur by July 21 to allow time for noticing and the expiration of the estoppel period by the August 22 deadline.