In November 2020, New Jersey voters approved Public Question No. 1, which amended the New Jersey Constitution to allow for the legalization of a controlled form of marijuana called “cannabis” for adults at least 21 years of age. The residents of Berkeley Heights voted “yes” on this question with a two-thirds majority in November 2020. Subsequently, the New Jersey Senate and Assembly passed, and the Governor signed into law, the “New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act” that legalized possession of up to six ounces of cannabis and created the regulatory structure for adult-use sales, including how cannabis businesses will operate.

Now it’s time for Berkeley Heights to decide which, if any, of the 6 marketplace classes of marijuana businesses* will operate in our Town (scroll below to see the list of cannabis business types and their definitions).  The Council needs to take action as the same Act authorizes municipalities by ordinance to adopt regulations governing the number of cannabis establishments, cannabis distributors and/or cannabis delivery services allowed to operate within their boundaries, as well as the location, manner and operation times of such establishments, distributors or delivery services, and establishes civil penalties for the violation of any such regulations.

Council action on this issue for or against any or all options must happen before July 6, 2021. The failure to do so shall mean that for a period of five years thereafter, the growing, cultivating, manufacturing, selling and reselling of cannabis and cannabis items shall be permitted uses in ALL industrial zones. It also means that retail selling of cannabis items to consumers shall be a conditional use in ALL commercial and retail zones.

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Before your governing body decides whether to allow any or all of the 6 classes of licenses in Berkeley Heights, we would like to know how residents feel about the presence of marijuana businesses in Berkeley Heights. We also need to hear whether residents support the distribution of legalized cannabis in our town.

During the next Town Council meeting, which is on Tuesday May 4th at 7 pm, there will a conference session on this topic and we encourage residents to dial in and speak up. In addition, you can email me your thoughts at  jkingsley@bhtwp.com

* SIX TYPES OF CANNABIS BUSINESSES IN NEW JERSEY

  • Class 1 Cannabis Cultivator license, for facilities involved in growing and cultivating cannabis; 
  • Class 2 Cannabis Manufacturer license, for facilities involved in the manufacturing, preparation, and packaging of cannabis items; •
  • Class 3 Cannabis Wholesaler license, for facilities involved in obtaining and selling cannabis items for later resale by other licensees;
  • Class 4 Cannabis Distributer license, for businesses involved in transporting cannabis plants in bulk from one licensed cultivator to another licensed cultivator, or cannabis items in bulk from any type of licensed cannabis business to another;
  • Class 5 Cannabis Retailer license for locations at which cannabis items and related supplies are sold to consumers; and
  • Class 6 Cannabis Delivery license, for businesses providing courier services for consumer purchases that are fulfilled by a licensed cannabis retailer in order to make deliveries of the purchases items to a consumer, and which service would include the ability of a consumer to make a purchase directly through the cannabis delivery service which would be presented by the delivery service for fulfillment by a retailer and then delivered to a consumer.