NJ’s provisional legal pot rules will not cover all required topics

TRENTON – There is just over a month until the double deadline for the state to pass its initial regulations for legalized marijuana and for municipalities to decide whether they want to refuse to license such businesses, at least in the short term.

The state Cannabis Regulatory Commission will only partially meet its deadline. CRC president Dianna Houenou said the agency had “started writing” about draft rules that could change and that would not address all of the topics included in the state’s legalization law.

“Due to the deadlines dictated by the law, developing regulations on every topic identified in the CREAMM law is just not very practical,” Houenou said of the 166-page cannabis regulation law, assistance in the application and modernization of the market.

“As such, the CRC will need to prioritize the initial rules on the most critical topics for the early stages of establishing the regulated cannabis industry,” Houenou said at the committee meeting this week. last.

Houenou said the draft text being developed may still change as the agency hears from experts and the public. They will be provisional rules anyway, and the one-year process for adopting permanent rules will begin as soon as the provisional regulations are adopted.

“But on August 21, we Commissioners really want the rules to be clear and focused so people know what to expect as we move forward,” she said.

The most important subjects will be dealt with in the provisional rules. Others that are not could be added later, even while the permanent rules are being drafted.

“Given the immediate need to prioritize some rules over others, the CRC’s work to develop regulations will necessarily extend beyond August 21,” Houenou said.

Jeff Brown, executive director of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission, said a lot of resources are being spent on completing the interim regulations by Aug.21. The agency is also focusing on selected new locations for medical marijuana dispensaries, as part of a series of solicited requests. in 2019.

“Where the applications and preparation for licensing is 1A, the demand for 2019 applications is 1AA,” Brown said. “These are the highest priority projects on our plates right now. Believe me, we want this to happen as quickly as possible. “

Brown said the scoring of the nominations is very close to conclusion and the state is “about to act” on them. The selections will be voted on at a public meeting of the CRC; the next is August 3.

Michael Symons is the State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at [email protected].

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