The long awaited Personal Use Cannabis Rules (“Initial Rules”) to regulate the recreational cannabis industry in New Jersey were issued on Aug. 19, 2021, by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC). Adopted pursuant to the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (CREAMMA), these Initial Rules will be in effect until Aug. 19, 2022 (“Expiration Date”), subject to amendment or re-adoption before the Expiration Date.
The Initial Rules set up the licensing framework which includes the terms of eligibility, the review process, application prioritization, and establishes a comprehensive rulebook for operating a cannabis business in New Jersey. Additional rules are expected to be announced by the CRC to address the cannabis delivery service and cannabis distribution license structure. Now that the rules have been enacted, an application process for the various cannabis licenses is to be made available by the CRC for entrepreneurs, including those looking to cultivate, manufacture, and retail cannabis. In preparation of an application process, this article explores some of the highlights of the Initial Rules.