502 Millbrook Avenue, Randolph, NJ 07869-3799
Tel: 973.989.7100Fax: 973.989.7076

New Cannabis Laws

Posted: April 29, 2021

The Randolph Township Cannabis Subcommittee held its first of two public forums regarding the new cannabis laws on April 28, 2021. View the Cannabis PowerPoint Presentation  given at the meeting. Meeting minutes are currently being prepared and will be available through a link to be added here shortly.

Randolph Township Community Input - Cannabis Survey

The Randolph Township Cannabis Working Group is reviewing the options for the township to allow any of various business opportunities associated with the cannabis legalization in New Jersey. They have created a survey to gather information from Randolph Township residents. This survey may be found online or in a hard copy version at the municipal building and library, with drop boxes available for completed forms. It will take only 3 minutes to complete; your time and input is appreciated.

Background Information

Governor Murphy has signed into law legislation legalizing and regulating cannabis use and possession for adults 21 years and older.

New Laws

  • Cannabis Legalization (P.L.2021, c.16) (Feb. 22, 2021)
    Titled as the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement, Assistance and Marketplace Modernization Act, this law legalizes regulatory cannabis. (A21)
  • Marijuana Decriminalization (P.L.2021, c.19) (Feb. 22, 2021)
    This law decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana and hashish and establishes new, more lenient penalties for the distribution of these substances. (A1897)
  • Other Clarifying Provisions (P.L.2021, c.25) (Feb. 22, 2021)
    This law clarifies certain provisions regarding marijuana and cannabis use and possession penalties for individuals younger than 21 years old. (S3454)
  • Additional Clarifying Provisions (P.L. 2021, c.38) (Mar. 26, 2021)
    This law revises certain provisions concerning parental notification of juveniles found to be using or possessing alcohol, marijuana, hashish or cannabis, as well as amending certain other provisions of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15. (A5472)

To assist residents in gaining a better understanding of the new laws, view this Cannabis Legalization Fact Sheet .

Municipal Considerations

  • Existing Ordinances: Any existing municipal ordinances regulating or prohibiting cannabis are null and void. They must be readopted to be effective.
  • Opt-In or Opt-Out Timeline: Municipalities have 180 days (until August 21, 2021) to take action to either prohibit or limit the number of cannabis establishments, distributors, or delivery services; the location, manner, and times of operation, and establishing civil penalties for violation of ordinances.
  • No Action Result: If municipalities do not take action within 180 days, any class of cannabis establishment or distributor will be permitted to operate in the municipality, and depending on the type of establishment, be considered a permitted use in certain zones.
  • 5-Year Periods: Once a municipality permits cannabis establishment or distributor operations in their community, that action remains valid for 5 years. After this 5-year period, a municipality has another 180-day window to prohibit or limit cannabis operations, but this action only applies prospectively. Those who initially opt-out can opt-in at any time.
  • Local Cannabis Tax: Municipalities can enact by ordinance a local cannabis tax that cannot exceed 2% for cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, and/or retailer; and 1% for wholesalers. The tax percentage is based on the receipts for each sale and is paid directly to the municipality in the manner prescribed by the municipality. Any delinquencies are treated the same as delinquent property taxes. The tax cannot apply to delivery services to consumers or transfers for the purpose of bulk transportation.
  • Delivery Rights: A municipality cannot prohibit the delivery of cannabis items and related supplies by a delivery service within their jurisdiction.

Township Subcommittee
The township council has formed a subcommittee to study and collect additional information and community input on the new law. The subcommittee will be making a recommendation to the full township council prior to the expiration of the 180 day deadline for local action on the question of whether Randolph should opt in or out of allowing cannabis businesses to operate within the municipal boundaries. The subcommittee consists of the following members:

Chris Carey—Township Council
Joanne Veech—Township Council
Lance Tkacs—Township Council
Steve Mountain—Township Manager
David Ehehalt—Economic Development Committee
John Insinga—Board of Health
Kevin Keller—Chamber of Commerce
Art Lee—Planning Board
Liz Ritter—Municipal Alliance Committee

The subcommittee is meeting weekly to become more educated on the state laws and the decisions Randolph must address locally under the laws. In addition, the subcommittee will be hosting two community forums and administering a community survey to collect community input on the new laws in the upcoming months.

Other Resources