New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission Issues Awards for 2019 Applications

Awards and denial decisions made on 14 cannabis cultivation and vertically integrated companies

NEW JERSEY:  The Cannabis Regulatory Commission has accepted the recommendation to approve 14 of the 2019 medicinal cannabis business applications that had been previously held up due to a court-ordered stay of the review process. Ten applications for cultivation permits and four applications for vertically integrated permits were approved and can begin preparations to serve New Jersey’s medicinal cannabis patients. Because of increasing patient need, five more cultivation permits were awarded than had been planned in 2019.

“The current alternative treatment centers have not kept pace with patient need,” said CRC Chairwoman Dianna Houenou. “We constantly hear from patients that prices are too high and that there are too few dispensaries with too few product options. The situation has not changed with the legalization of recreational cannabis. Our priority is to our patients and increasing the planned number of medicinal cannabis operators in the market will greatly benefit them.” 

Twelve alternative treatment centers and satellite locations across New Jersey currently serve 118,882 medicinal cannabis patients. 

Of the ten cultivator permits approved three are in North Jersey, five are in Central Jersey, and two are in South Jersey.  They could potentially add 235,000 sq. ft. of canopy to the market. The four vertically integrated awards (for businesses doing cultivation, manufacturing, and retail) could add another 120,000 sq. ft. of cannabis canopy and an additional four retail locations. 

Applicants approved for cultivation: 

    • Bloom Medicinals of PA 
    • CYOUR NJ 
    • Garden State Releaf 
    • GCSS 
    • Green Medicine 
    • Hillview Med 
    • The NAR Group 
    • NJ Nectar Ventures 
    • Noble Valley 
    • ZY Labs

Applicants approved for vertically integrated operations: 

    • Altus 
    • Etain 
    • Greenhouse Wellness 
    • Holistic

“We know how anticipated these final actions were and we are happy they are now completed,” said CRC executive director Jeff Brown. “The awardees can now continue with the process to establish their operations. This can only be a good thing for cannabis patients and New Jersey’s fledging cannabis industry.” 

Applications and all reward documents related to the RFA process are available at Final Administrative Decisions. 

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission establishes and enforces the rules and regulations governing the licensing, cultivation, testing, selling, and purchasing of cannabis in the state. 

New Jersey Judiciary Expunges More than 360,000 Marijuana Offenses

NEW JERSEY:  The New Jersey Judiciary has expunged more than 362,000 marijuana and hashish cases from court records since the Marijuana Decriminalization Law became effective July 1.

Eligible cases are expunged automatically by the Judiciary. Once a case is expunged, it is removed from the court’s public record and does not have to be reported on applications for jobs, housing, or college admissions. 

More than 1,200 individuals have been released from probation after their cases were expunged. Members of the public, or their attorney, can go to the court where their case was heard or to the Superior Court Clerk’s Office in Trenton to receive a certification stating their case has been expunged. The Judiciary has issued more than 2,800 certifications to date.

Cases with offenses eligible for expungement include certain marijuana or hashish charges alone or in combination with the following: possession of drug paraphernalia; use or being under the influence of a controlled, dangerous substance; and failure to make lawful disposition of a controlled, dangerous substance.

Cases involving charges that are not eligible under the new law will not be expunged. Those who feel their case should have been considered for expungement under the new law can file a motion for judicial review.

The Administrative Office of the Courts will launch an awareness campaign on Sept. 20 to inform the public of the opportunities available through the Marijuana Decriminalization Law.

For more information, visit njcourts.gov/marijuana.

Curaleaf Expands Presence in New Jersey With New Dispensary & Cultivation Facility

Opening Marks Company’s 107th Retail Location Nationwide

Strategic Expansion Will Help Serve the State’s Rapidly Growing Cannabis Market

NEW JERSEY:  Curaleaf Holdings, Inc., a leading international provider of consumer products in cannabis, today announced the opening of Curaleaf Edgewater Park, the Company’s second dispensary in New Jersey and 107th dispensary nationwide.

In addition, the Company announced that its second New Jersey cultivation facility, located in Winslow, completed its first harvest and is now fully operational. The new site has tripled Curaleaf’s cultivation capabilities to serve both the existing New Jersey medical market and the forthcoming adult-use market.

“We are thrilled to grow alongside New Jersey’s flourishing medical community and expand access to best-in-class cannabis products to patients in Edgewater Park,” said Joe Bayern, CEO of Curaleaf. “We continue to work closely with state leadership and regulators to create a successful and sustainable adult-use market, and our expansion positions us to meet the market’s increasing needs while creating hundreds of new jobs in the state.” 

Curaleaf Edgewater Park is a 7,640 square foot dispensary conveniently located off the Burlington Pike at 4237 Route 130 South and is open to all patients with a valid medical card. Curaleaf has been serving New Jersey’s medical community since the opening of its Bellmawr dispensary in 2015, and the Company anticipates opening a third dispensary in Central New Jersey later this summer. Patients will have expanded access to Curaleaf’s diverse line of award-winning product offerings including branded flower, vapes and ingestible products.

On June 25, Curaleaf will hold an opening day ceremony featuring a ribbon cutting, swag bags for the first 500 patients, and raffles for a store credit and gift basket. New patients will have access to an exclusive 20% discount on first purchases through July 6. In addition, Curaleaf Edgewater Park is making a $5,000 contribution to Ladies in Transit Holistic Community Development Corporation, which provides families and individuals with programs and services to transition from hardship to economic stability.

“We are committed to both serving our patients and being a good member of our local communities,” said Patrik Jonsson, Curaleaf’s Northeast Regional President. “We’re proud to open our new location in Edgewater, and we look forward to making an impact in the community through Curaleaf’s Rooted In Good program.”

Rooted In Good delivers social impact by focusing efforts within three key pillars: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Social Equity; and Sustainability, ultimately achieving key goals through the Company’s strategic social partnerships. As part of this initiative, Curaleaf is working toward building a fair and equitable industry for all by making a commitment to employ at least 10% of 2021 hires from communities impacted by cannabis-related offenses. The company’s 420×25 supplier diversity initiative aims to do business with 420 new cannabis brands, ancillary suppliers, and advocacy organizations from underrepresented communities in the cannabis ecosystem by the year 2025. In addition, the Company’s recently launched Executive Roundtable mentorship program, also part of Rooted In Good, includes New Jersey small business owners.

To learn more about Rooted In Good, please visit https://curaleaf.com/social-responsibility/.

AFC Gamma Provides Justice Cannabis Co. With $22 Million Senior Secured Credit Facility to Fund its New Jersey Expansion

FLORIDA:  AFC Gamma, Inc. announced it has provided a credit facility of $22 million to Justice Cannabis Co., a Chicago-based multi-state operator with licenses in eight states. The credit facility is designed to provide Justice Cannabis Co. with the capital necessary to purchase and complete the build out of its 72,000 square foot cultivation and processing facility, along with the buildout of a dispensary, both in Ewing, New Jersey.

“We are pleased to support Justice Cannabis Co. as it continues to expand its operations in New Jersey,” said Leonard M. Tannenbaum, AFC’s Chief Executive Officer. “With adult use marijuana recently legalized in the state, we believe New Jersey will have favorable supply and demand dynamics for years to come and we are excited to be working with Justice Cannabis Co. in order to fully capitalize on this growing market.”

Jon Loevy, Justice Cannabis Co.’s Founder, added, “As we continue building on our presence in this highly attractive cannabis market, we are very excited to have the support and partnership of AFC. AFC has proven investment expertise in the cannabis space and provided us with an institutionally minded financing solution that supports our specific needs. We look forward to continuing to work with AFC to achieve our objectives.”

AFC will hold the entire $22 million of the credit facility, which consists of a first-lien term loan. The loan is secured by first-lien mortgages on Justice Cannabis Co.’s wholly owned real estate properties in New Jersey and other commercial-security interests. AFC Management, LLC served as Lead Arranger and Administrative Agent for the transaction.

New Jersey Cannabis Snapshot
New Jersey legalized the use of medical marijuana in 2010, with sales launching in 2019. Adult use marijuana was legalized in 2021. By 2024, the state expects to achieve sales of between $850 million and $950 million, with significant opportunities to exceed this range, depending on licensing details which will be developed over time.

New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission Meeting April 22, 2021

New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission Meeting 

Where: Zoom Meeting

When: Thursday, April 22, 2021 – 3:00 PM

The order in which the agenda items are called may deviate from the sequence set forth herein. Unless otherwise indicated, formal action may be taken on any items listed herein.

To participate in the public comment portion of the meeting, you must sign up by sending an email with your full name and phone number to MMPQuestions@doh.nj.gov. Please include “April 22 Meeting Public Comment” in the subject line. A full name and phone number are required in order for the CRC to identify and call on speakers during the meeting.  Requests to speak for this meeting must be received by 12 PM on April 22.  To accommodate as many speakers as possible, speakers will be limited to 3 minutes.

The public may also submit comments before, during, or after the meeting in writing to MMPQuestions@doh.nj.gov. Please include “April 22 Meeting Public Comment” in the subject line.

Agenda

  1. Call to order
  2. Notice of public meeting
  3. Roll call
  4. Chair’s remarks
  5. Executive session The Commission will discuss litigation and interagency contract negotiations. The executive session is expected to last 30 minutes.
  6. Approval of previous meeting’s minutes
  7. Annual meeting schedule
  8. Executive Director’s report
  9. For discussion only: Interim medical cannabis testing standards for laboratories pursuant to N.J.S.A. 24:6I-19 Public comments will be accepted on this agenda item during the public comment period.
  10. Authorizing to the Executive Director pursuant to N.J.S.A. 24:6I-24 to enter into Memorandum of Agreement with Department of Health on behalf of the Commission concerning staff, technology, and administrative support for the Commission.
  11. Authorizing to Department of Health pursuant to N.J.S.A. 24:6I-24 to provide criminal background checks and other functions on behalf of Commission during agency transfer.
  12. Public comment
  13. Adjournment

Ganja Pioneer Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion Commemorates 4/20 with New Jersey Celebration and Miami Expansion

NEW JERSEY: While “Weed Day” 4/20/21 marks a luminous occasion for longtime marijuana activist and entrepreneur, Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion, in his home state of New Jersey, per the recent legalization of cannabis, the victory is somewhat bittersweet for him.

The bitter is that his current “Citizen’s Dispensary” operates as a black-market operation as he continues to battle for inclusion within the legal arena. The sweet is not only a huge in-store and online celebration party this 4/20, but also the announcement of his expansion, with a 420-themed lounge opening soon in Miami, Florida, entitled, The Joint of Miami. (photo credit: Dr. Boogie)

Greetings From New Jersey, Now The 15th State To Go Green

By Stu Zakim

After a long rollercoaster rider, which saw the Cannabis legislation in New Jersey go through many iterations, this past Monday, it finally became legal.  The Garden State now stands in a unique position of being the epicenter of legal Adult Use and medical Cannabis on the East Coast.  The bigger question is can the current infrastructure manage what will surely be a significant increase in consumers purchasing legal Cannabis without minimizing the importance of keeping the state’s over 100 thousand medical patients fully supplied with the medicine they need to manage their lives in a healthier way than opiates.

Stu Zakim and NORML:’s Keith Stroup

In most of the states where the voters or legislators have approved laws that make Cannabis use legal, there has been a major hit on the medical patients.  New Jersey, in learning from the other states, have addressed a number of issues to avoid making the same mistakes.  They need to be applauded for their focus on the patients rather than the Adult use consumer as it’s all about how the plant makes life better for all.

Besides the celebration of the approval of the bill and Governor Murphy’s signing of it, the new bill will finally deal with the long term impacts of social injustice and equity that have affected communities of brown, black and Latino’s.  No longer can the police arrest someone if they smell of Cannabis or alcohol based on that fact; there are other long needed corrections to how the police deal with underage and Adult use Cannabis in place thanks to the concerted efforts of industry leaders like Leo Bridgewater, Ed Devereux, Scott Rudder, William Caruso, Susanna Short, Happy Munkey and others.

Curved Papers founder Michael O’Malley and Stu Zakim at the 2018 NYC Cannabis Parade

From a financial perspective, New Jersey is situated between two of the most populous areas in the I-95 corridor on Amtrak – NYC and Philadelphia – and should reap those rewards as it expands its medical program and moves towards awarding more licenses before moving on the Adult Use dispensaries.

As a communications strategist who has spent 8 years preparing for this moment on the East Coast, validates all the principals my friend David Rheins created with his forward thinking Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and their many media properties (including MJNews Network and Marijuana Channel One used to help influence public opinion through educational programs long before others joined that space.

As the legalization process moves forward in NJ and hopefully NYC, please check MJNews for regular updates.  It’s going to be an exciting time and thanks for reading.

New Jersey Governor Murphy Signs Historic Adult-Use Cannabis Reform Bills Into Law

NEW JERSEY:  Governor Phil Murphy today signed historic adult-use cannabis reform bills into law, legalizing and regulating cannabis use and possession for adults 21 years and older (A21 – “The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act”) and decriminalizing marijuana and hashish possession (A1897). The Governor also signed S3454, clarifying marijuana and cannabis use and possession penalties for individuals younger than 21 years old.

“Our current marijuana prohibition laws have failed every test of social justice, which is why for years I’ve strongly supported the legalization of adult-use cannabis. Maintaining a status quo that allows tens of thousands, disproportionately people of color, to be arrested in New Jersey each year for low-level drug offenses is unjust and indefensible,” said Governor Murphy. “This November, New Jerseyans voted overwhelmingly in support of creating a well-regulated adult-use cannabis market. Although this process has taken longer than anticipated, I believe it is ending in the right place and will ultimately serve as a national model.

“This legislation will establish an industry that brings equity and economic opportunity to our communities, while establishing minimum standards for safe products and allowing law enforcement to focus their resources on real public safety matters,” continued Governor Murphy. “Today, we’re taking a monumental step forward to reduce racial disparities in our criminal justice system, while building a promising new industry and standing on the right side of history. I’d like to thank the Legislature, advocates, faith leaders, and community leaders for their dedicated work and partnership on this critical issue.”

“At long last, New Jersey is turning the page on our previous treatment of marijuana use,” said Dianna Houenou, incoming Chair of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC). “I am excited to get to work building on the successes of the medical program and standing up the adult-use cannabis industry. It’s an honor to be part of this historic movement in New Jersey.”

“The failed War on Drugs has systematically targeted people of color and the poor, disproportionately impacting Black and Brown communities and hurting families in New Jersey and across our nation,” said U.S Senator Cory Booker. “Today is a historic day, and I applaud Governor Murphy, the legislature, and the many advocates for racial and social justice whose leadership is ensuring that New Jersey is at the forefront of equitable marijuana legalization policy. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to end the federal marijuana prohibition so we can finally begin healing the wounds of decades of injustice.”

“This is a historic reform that will have a real-life impact on social justice, law enforcement and the state’s economy,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney. “We can now move forward to correct social injustices at the same time that marijuana is made legal for adults. This  will launch a new cannabis industry with the potential to create jobs and generate economic activity at a time when it is desperately needed. The decriminalization law is the most sweeping measure of its kind in the country and is a groundbreaking step in our continued effort to make criminal justice reforms that are fairer and more effective. This will help reduce the racial disparities and social inequities that have long plagued our criminal justice system.”

“For the last fifty years, marijuana criminalization has been used as a tool to propel mass incarceration,” said Senator Sandra Cunningham. “It has done immeasurable harm to Black and Brown communities around the country, and today we begin to right the ship here in New Jersey. I look forward to seeing the tangible impact this legislation has on our communities in the years to come.”

“I am proud to have been a driving force behind the most progressive decriminalization law in the country and I am grateful to finally see it enacted,” said Senator Teresa Ruiz. “Every day roughly 100 people in New Jersey are arrested for marijuana possession, this law is a move that offers individuals a second chance and ensures they do not become entangled in the criminal justice system. This is yet another step towards bringing justice and equity to our communities. Going forward, we must continue to look for creative solutions to reverse the generational impact the War on Drugs has had.”

“This will usher in a new era of social justice by doing away with the failed policy that criminalized the use of marijuana,” said Senator Nicholas Scutari, the leading advocate of legalizing adult-use marijuana in New Jersey over the past decade. “Too many people have been arrested, incarcerated and left with criminal records that disrupt and even destroy their lives. We don’t want the criminal justice system to be an unfair barrier to success. By implementing a regulated system that allows people age 21 and over to purchase limited amounts of marijuana for personal use we will bring marijuana out of the underground market where it can be controlled, regulated and taxed, just as alcohol has been for decades. New Jersey will now be a leader in legalizing a once stigmatized drug in ways that will help the communities hurt the most by the War on Drugs and realize the economic benefits of the new adult-use cannabis market.”

“We’re moving closer to the long-overdue need to end cannabis prohibition,” said Assemblywoman Annette Quijano. “So much time, effort, and thought have gone into this legislation. We’ve continued conversations, for what I believe, has produced a stronger piece of legislation with a focused eye toward social justice and equity. This is the beginning of a new era of economic opportunity, social justice for marijuana possession, and hope for a better future for thousands of New Jersey residents.”

“With legalization comes an unprecedented opportunity for residents to clean the slate with expungement provisions and for communities to grow their economic base with businesses,” said Assemblyman Jamel Holley. “A key component of cannabis legalization is addressing social justice concerns. The fact that Black New Jerseyans are 3 or 4 times more likely to be arrested on cannabis charges has contributed to the disenfranchisement of black communities. We have the opportunity here to also right the wrongs in our society in regards to past criminal possession of cannabis. No matter where you stand in the legalized marijuana debate, there has been a clear understanding that minorities within our urban communities have been hit hardest in the so-called War on Drugs. During this entire campaign for legalization, there has been one united vocal stance: There was harm done in the past and it must be corrected.”

“This new law includes real, enterprising opportunities for New Jersey communities that have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition, along with more defined employment opportunities and a commission that requires diversity,” said Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake. “This will be a clear revenue generator for the State, and the social justice and diversity portion in the legislation remains imperative.”

“Undoubtedly, this is the largest regulatory undertaking the state has considered since the Casino Control Commission,” said Assemblywoman Angela McKnight. “Remaining at status quo meant continued disparity in arrests for African Americans and teens for amounts now to be considered personal use.  We are moving the state in a direction more compassionate for cannabis and in line with what is happening across the country in regards to legalization.”

“This has been a long time coming in our State,” said Assemblyman Joseph Danielsen. “who chairs the Assembly Federal Relations and Oversight Reform Committee led the discussion on the bill in today’s hearing. “Social justice for black and brown communities, which have been generationally impacted by cannabis prohibition, and equity in business are priorities in this legislation. We cannot fairly, or effectively provide regulation without ensuring these communities stay at the forefront of the conversation.”

“New Jersey voters on November 3rd issued the Legislature a mandate: to provide the infrastructure for the legalization of cannabis in New Jersey. Today, we move on that directive by presenting legislation for discussion with fellow legislation and statewide stakeholders,” said Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly. “The War on Drugs in many ways became a war on particular communities, incarcerating millions of black and brown people and affecting families irreparably for decades. Our work on refining this legislation aims to correct the economic and social justice disparities surrounding cannabis use.”

“With Governor Murphy’s signature, the decades-long practice of racist marijuana enforcement will begin to recede, in a shift that emphasizes the urgency of building the most equitable framework possible for cannabis legalization,” said Amol Sinha, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, which is a founding member of New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform. “With this historic reform, New Jersey also shifts our approach to youth possession and use by moving away from the punitive status quo to a framework that values public health, harm reduction, and the well-being of young people. Our state’s cannabis laws can set a new standard for what justice can look like, with the removal of criminal penalties for possession and an unprecedented portion of tax revenue dedicated to addressing the harms wrought by the drug war. Signing these laws puts in motion the next phase of this effort: to work relentlessly to transform the principles of legalization into greater racial and social justice in New Jersey. This is a new beginning – and the culmination of years of advocacy – and we must keep in mind that it is only the start.”

Under A21, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) will promulgate regulations to govern the medical and adult-use industries and oversee the applications for licensing of cannabis businesses. The legislation further provides for the Legislature to reinvest cannabis revenues in designated “impact zones”; directs the CRC to promote diversity and inclusion in business ownership; and contains critical employment protections for people who engage in lawful behavior with respect to cannabis.

A1897 reforms criminal and civil penalties for marijuana and hashish offenses, as well as provides remedies for people currently facing certain marijuana charges. The bill prevents unlawful low-level distribution and possession offenses from being used in pretrial release, probation, and parole decisions and provides certain protections against discrimination in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation. The bill also creates a pathway to vacate active sentences for certain offenses committed before enactment of the enabling legislation.

The Governor today also signed S3454 into law, clarifying penalties for marijuana and cannabis possession and consumption for individuals younger than 21 years old. The legislation corrects inconsistencies in A21 and A1897 concerning marijuana and cannabis penalties for those underage.

“I have been working on decriminalizing adult-use marijuana for well over three years now, and I am happy to finally see it become a reality,” said Senator Ronald Rice. “This is a common-sense and just law that gives an equal playing field for folks in communities of color. Many have argued that legalizing adult-use marijuana has been for social, economic and criminal justice, however, decriminalization for me, is equally as important. I will continue to watch closely and fight to ensure communities of color are treated equally.”

“This is only one piece in the many parts of change that must be done in the name of social justice for our communities. The War on Drugs in many ways became a war on particular communities, incarcerating millions of people and affecting families irreparably for decades,” said Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly. “The action we take now to help our black and brown communities who have been disproportionately affected by current laws surrounding cannabis use is critical to trauma for future generations.”

“There have been far too many people, especially those from Black and Hispanic communities, who have been negatively impacted by the criminalization of cannabis,” said Assemblywoman Annette Quijano. “There have been long-term impacts on the lives of all people in this state, but considerably those of color. This law is the product of taking a hard look at our current laws, listening to the will of the majority of New Jerseyans and taking a common-sense approach to cannabis offenses.”

“Black New Jerseyans are up to four times more likely to be arrested on cannabis charges than White people. It is a sad fact, a further painful reminder that so people in our communities have been disenfranchised for far too long,” said Assemblyman Jamel Holley. “There have always been glaring social justice concerns and obvious inequity in the high number of arrests of minority residents. Now, finally, this is the time for it to stop.”

“It’s time for the change we seek,” said Assemblywoman Angela McKnight. “New Jersey residents are not happy with the status quo and we need to move in a direction of compassion for the communities that have long been targeted by current regulatory criteria. The call for action, for social justice reform, is resounding throughout our nation. And it begins in New Jersey today.”

“Decriminalization and expungement for those who have been disproportionately incarcerated for marijuana offenses is well overdue in New Jersey and many other states throughout this nation,” said Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake. “A criminal marijuana charge has a detrimental effect on an individual’s opportunity to access higher education, obtain gainful employment, receive housing support, and address child custody issues.  Not all communities are impacted equally by marijuana enforcement, measures to reduce the collateral consequences of criminal records are ones of racial, social, and economic justice. This is about social justice for a people who have endured the inequities in the law for generations.”

In July 2019, Governor Murphy signed legislation (“The Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act”) to reform New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) and expand patient access to medical marijuana, ensuring this life-changing medical treatment is affordable and accessible for those who need it most.

In December 2019, Governor Murphy signed one of the most progressive expungement reforms in the nation, giving individuals entangled in the criminal justice system the opportunity to fully participate in society. S4154 eliminated fees for expungement applications and additionally created a petition process for “clean slate” expungement for residents, as well as required the State to implement an automated clean slate expungement system. Furthermore, the bill required that low-level marijuana convictions be sealed upon the disposition of a case, preventing those convictions from being used against individuals in the future.

 

New Jersey Attorney General Grewal Issues Additional Guidance To Prosecutors On Handling Low-Level Marijuana Possession-Related Cases

NEW JERSEY:  Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal has issued additional guidance to prosecutors concerning the prosecution of low-level marijuana cases, supplementing his August 29, 2018 and November 4, 2020 guidance.

Attorney General Grewal directed all New Jersey municipal, county, and state prosecutors to adjourn, until at least January 25, 2021, any juvenile or adult case solely involving the following marijuana possession-related offenses:

  • possession of marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S. 2C:35-10(a)(3);
  • possession of marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S. 2C:35-10(a)(4);
  • being under the influence of marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S. 2C:35-10(c);
  • failure to make lawful disposition of marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S. 2C:35-10(d);
  • use or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia under N.J.S. 2C:36-2 involving only marijuana or hashish;
  • possession of a controlled dangerous substance while operating a motor vehicle in violation of N.J.S. 39:4-49.1 involving only marijuana or hashish; and
  • any disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense subject to conditional discharge pursuant to N.J.S. 2C:36A-1 involving only marijuana or hashish.

For cases involving the above-enumerated charges as well as other offenses, the Attorney General directed prosecutors to use their discretion to either postpone the case in its entirety or seek dismissal, without prejudice, of the marijuana possession-related charge(s) and proceed with prosecution of the remaining charges. Notably, today’s guidance does not affect the prosecution of cases charging distribution of marijuana or possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

“Fairness demands that we suspend prosecution of marijuana possession-related cases while we await direction from the Legislature on the parameters for decriminalization of marijuana and legalization of regulated adult-use cannabis,” said Attorney General Grewal. “It simply does not make sense or serve justice to proceed with prosecutions on charges that may be foreclosed soon through legislative action.”

Previously, on November 4th, the Attorney General issued guidance to law enforcement emphasizing that they have broad discretion in handling low-level marijuana offenses, and encouraging them to exercise that discretion in light of anticipated legislative action that may decriminalize marijuana.

Attorney General Grewal reiterated that more comprehensive guidance, including direction on handling previously adjudicated matters, will follow when the Legislature provides details of the framework for marijuana decriminalization and the legalization of adult-use cannabis.

Guidance for Marijuana Possession Cases Pending in Municipal and Superior Courts: click here.

Guidance Regarding Municipal Prosecutors’ Discretion in Prosecuting Marijuana and Other Criminal Offenses, August 29, 2018: click here.

Interim Guidance on the Constitutional Amendment Legalizing Cannabis, November 4, 2020: click here.

NEW JERSEY: TerrAscend Issued Permit To Dispense Medical Marijuana In Phillipsburg As “The Apothecarium”

The Facility, doing business as “The Apothecarium,” is Now the 13th Dispensary Statewide, First in Warren County

NEW JERSEY: The New Jersey Department of Health today issued a permit allowing TerrAscend to begin dispensing medical cannabis in Phillipsburg.  TerrAscend is operating their dispensary under the name, “The Apothecarium.”  This is the 13th facility dispensing marijuana for medical use in New Jersey and the first to operate in Warren County.

The Phillipsburg location is set to open tomorrow, November 24th. TerrAscend is currently cultivating and processing in Boonton Township.

“Expanding access to our growing patient population continues to be a high priority especially during these unprecedented times,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “The opening of this site will provide residents in the Northwestern New Jersey better access to products they need to treat their conditions.”

TerrAscend Corp. | CSE - Canadian Securities Exchange

The 12 other ATCs currently dispensing include Ascend Wellness of Montclair, The Botanist (Compassionate Care Foundation) of Egg Harbor and Atlantic City, Garden State Dispensary of Woodbridge, Eatontown and Union Township, Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center of Cranbury, Curaleaf NJ, Inc. in Bellmawr, Harmony Dispensary in Secaucus, Rise in Paterson, Zen Leaf Elizabeth and Columbia Care in Vineland.

Participation in the program continues to grow. There are currently over 97,500 patients, 3,600 caregivers and 1,250 physicians enrolled.

Patients and caregivers can visit the Division of Medicinal Marijuana’s website if they choose to change their preferred ATC. The change can also be made by calling the Customer Service Unit of the Division at 844-419-9712 and does not require changing ID cards.

Patients can refer to the FAQ section of the website for additional information. Active physicians enrolled in the program are listed by county and medical specialty.

New Jersey residents interested in registering for medicinal marijuana can click here.  Registration requires an authorization by a participating physician.