50% of NJ communities might ban adult-use cannabis firms, report says

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Roughly half the cities and towns in New Jersey are likely to prohibit adult-use cannabis businesses for at least the foreseeable future, given their impending hard deadline of Aug. 21 to decide whether to opt in or opt out of the industry.

According to the Gothamist, localities that choose to ban the marijuana industry might “reverse course at any time” while those that choose to permit cannabis companies will be forced to accept their existence for at least five years before they’re allowed to change their minds.

Many local officials have told the state League of Municipalities that they’re being cautious because they don’t want to get in front of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission, which is still working to craft regulations for the nascent recreational marijuana industry.

The commission faces the same deadline as the communities do – Aug. 21 – to issue its first draft of industry rules.

According to the Gothamist, about 60 towns have already decided to allow adult-use cannabis companies to operate within their borders and are writing their own marijuana business rules.

The Newark City Council, for example, last week gave preliminary approval to an ordinance to govern local adult-use marijuana businesses.