Now that New Jersey has legalized marijuana use and possession for adults 21 years and older, South Jersey municipalities have begun adopting their own rules to address use and sale. Under the N.J. Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act towns have until Aug. 21 - 180 days from the adoption of the state law - to create any local enforcement structure. Towns that do not act by then will be governed by the state's law.
Here's how communities are responding in South Jersey:
With one medical marijuana dispensary on the Boardwalk and another expected to open, Atlantic City is expected to take part in the more open laws, including taking advantage of a 2% tax the city can collect on sales of cannabis products.
CAPE MAY CITY
Township Committee will consider adopting two ordinances on May 25 regulating the consumption and sale of cannabis in the township.
One ordinance will ban marijuana smoking in public places. The intent is to "protect residents of and visitors to the Township of Dennis from the nuisance and health hazards of non-consensual exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke and limit marijuana-related litter and pollution."
A second ordinance, also up for vote May 25 will prohibit any cannabis businesses from opening in the township.
Public hearings will proceed both votes.
EGG HARBOR CITY
Township Council voted Tuesday, May 11 to prohibit smoking cannabis in township recreation areas.
A public hearing was held prior to the vote, but no public made comments.
The township has until Aug. 21 to decide whether it will allow retail recreational marijuana sales within its borders.
As a side note, one it largest institutions, Stockton University is rapidly expanding its educational offerings related to cannabis, including the creation of the Cannabis & Hemp Research Institute at Stockton.
No legislation can be found, but Columbia Care New Jersey, LLC , is seeking planning board approval to build a state licensed medical marijuana dispensary with drive through window involving a currently vacant commercial property located at 4436 East Black Horse Pike, according a recent public notice
The town's governing body will vote to adopt two ordinances on May 13; one ordinance will prohibit the establishment of any recreational cannabis business in the township; another will medical cannabis dispensaries in its M-1 business zone.
LITTLE EGG HARBOR
Township Committee was expected to vote on May 3 on an ordinance that would prevent people from smoking or vaping cannabis in public. The township does support a proposal for a medical marijuana facility at the site of a former seafood processing plant.
City Commissioners discussed legislating cannabis facilities at their March 16 meeting, but have not taken formal action. Among the range of possibilities the board is considering is both is prohibiting it, or allowing and taxing it.
City Council is discussing whether to prohibit the use and sale of marijuana after the plant was legalized for recreational use at the state level.
City Councilman Paul Utts has said allowing the sale of cannabis has the potential to generate tax revenue, and create jobs.
Adopted and ordinance last August allowing “medical cannabis dispensaries” in the C-1 general commercial district. The Township has not discussed any item regarding recreational cannabis.
SEA ISLE CITY
The city will vote May 11 to adopt an ordinance prohibiting the sale or operation of any recreational marijuana manufacturing, cultivation, processing, distribution, or dispensaries as well as the delivery of cannabis. The vote will also include prohibiting the public consumption or smoking of cannabis in public.
At a March meeting, the city's solicitor reminded the board of the state law and the need to redo any laws regulating marijuana by Aug. 21. While not binding, the city has previously issued a letter of support at a July 25, 2019 meeting for a medical marijuana facility, according to minutes of that meeting found on the city's website.
The Township Committee will hold a public hearing and final vote May 11 on an ordinance prohibiting "the consumption of cannabis items."
A previous township law, established in 2020, prohibited the operation of marijuana retail establishments, marijuana cultivation facilities, and marijuana product manufacturing facilities.