Last month, two-thirds of New Jersey voters approved a referendum to legalize cannabis, but without any details in the ballot measure about how a legal cannabis industry would be put into practice, it will likely take time for the state legislature to write laws and regulations to fill in the blanks after the measure is passed.
With an expected projected income of $850 million to $950 million in sales per year by 2024, an adult use cannabis market would place pressure on the surrounding states, such as New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Legalization in New Jersey will undoubtedly attract cannabis users from all of the surrounding states and start the race to legalize cannabis in the region. More than any other region, the Northeast is likely to move together towards cannabis legalization, as the states’ governors have been meeting as early as fall of 2019 to start to develop uniform standards.
Now that New Jersey’s measure has passed, advocates are hoping for immediate regulation with an emphasis on home delivery to speed up job creation in the state. Medical dispensaries in New Jersey are currently allowed to deliver, but the ballot measure would appoint five members to a Cannabis Regulatory Commission to oversee the medical and recreational cannabis industry. We can expect new, more comprehensive regulations and guidance from the state once the commission is selected. However, if the adult use program is anything like the current medical market, we can expect to see grandfathering options for existing operators and a limited number of licenses available.
While the state works on developing final rules, this is the perfect time to start early business planning and begin to build relationships with local regulators. If you are interested in applying for a cannabis business license in this highly competitive market, then our licensing team can help you set your application apart. With a 99% rate on over 150 cannabis license applications across the United States, we know what state reviewers are looking for in a cannabis business and how to help your business craft a winning application.