After approving a proposed framework that would allow medical dispensaries and recreational-use retailers to operate consumption lounges, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) is seeking public input.
Unveiled at the five-member regulatory board’s December 2022 meeting, the draft rules establish qualifications, an application process and operation instructions for businesses that wish to set up spaces on premises for customers to consume cannabis.
Licensed dispensaries wanting to establish cannabis consumption areas must be approved by the CRC and the municipality in which the dispensary is located
A cannabis business can operate only one cannabis consumption area, regardless of the number of Class 5 Retailer licenses the business holds
Dispensaries may not sell food, but patrons may bring their own food into the cannabis consumption area or have food delivered there
Medicinal cannabis patients must be allowed to bring cannabis items from other retailers into consumption areas for their own use
There may be no sale of tobacco products and alcohol in consumption areas
Cannabis consumption areas may be indoors or outdoors
Patrons must be 21 years or older and photo identification must be required for entry into cannabis consumption areas
Licensing fee for microbusiness retailers wanting to add consumption areas will be $1,000; for standard retailers it will be $5,000
Cannabis consumption area endorsements are valid for year and may be renewed annually
Before the regulations can be finalized, they are subject to a 60-day public comment period, which ends March 18. After that, the CRC said it will review and respond to comments.
According to the CRC, written remarks can be submitted here and should identify the commenter’s name and affiliation. Alternatively, comments can be sent by mail, postmarked by March 18, to: Dave Tuason, Deputy Counsel, New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission, 225 E. State St., 2nd Floor, Trenton, NJ 08608.
If the CRC issues a final approval, New Jersey will join eight other states that have regulations providing for an on-site use option at dispensaries: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New York and New Mexico.
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