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New Jersey Towns Ban the Legal Sale of Cannabis Products: Do You Live In One of Them?

Greg Silverstein | January 12, 2021 | 4 1
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New Jersey residents overwhelmingly voted to legalize cannabis for recreational use, in the coming months New Jersey will start selling cannabis legally. Even with 67% of the voters supporting legal cannabis, there are more than 65 municipalities in the state that have explicitly banned legal recreational cannabis sales and many more looking at restrictions. This list is extensive so we have prepared three separate articles organized by the predetermined regions for the medical program. There are three cannabis regions in the state, North, Central, and South which are organized by county. We will take a look at each region and list out each town with bans in their community. There are also entire counties that do not yet have any cannabis sales bans that we know of, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Sussex, Union, and Warren counties do not have bans. All of the ban info is sourced from an October article produced by NJ 101.5. If you would like to read the regional articles please see the North, Central, and South links here and throughout the main article. 

The state cannabis program plans to expand rapidly as the need for product drives plans for much larger facilities. As New Jersey expands cultivation footprints by four to five times over the next year operators will increase supply and increase the number of dispensaries state wide.  We are already seeing major operators increase their footprints with major expansions or multi-phase construction projects for new cultivation facilities. These cultivation expansions are directly connected to new dispensaries in the coming year. As more licensed companies enter the market over the coming years towns will welcome additional dispensaries; the future of the New Jersey economy will be decided by where these businesses are located. 

Curaleaf plans to expand from 35,000 SQ FT to 153,150 SQ FT. TerrAscend recently opened a 37,000 SQ FT greenhouse with plans to expand the company’s total capacity to 140,000 SQ FT while adding indoor cultivation and post-harvest manufacturing capabilities. As of January 11, 2021, TerrAscend has completed their 80,000 SQ FT expansion. MPX in South Jersey is currently building a 33,000 SQ FT facility, this facility will eventually be expandable to 83,000 SQ FT. MPX is currently fighting a legal battle with their parent company iAnthus. AYR strategies just acquired one of the largest operators in the state Garden State Dispensary for $101 million. GSD already has three locations and 30,000 SQ FT of cultivation; they are expanding to an addition 75,000 SQ FT for a total of 105,000 SQ FT. Acreage just bought Compassionate Care Foundation in the southern region; they plan to triple capacity to 21,000 SQ FT. These are just some of the major expansions across the state including the new operators like TerrAscend with the first licensed green house in the state. Many of the new operators from the 2018 licensing round were able to plan their cultivation projects with recreational sales and expansion in mind.    

Expansion means more dispensaries and while there may be plenty of great locations some of the best areas are banned via medical or recreational ban. If you look at the existing program you will notice there are very few dispensaries and many of the locations have few appointments or very long lines and wait times. This will hopefully end quickly as most operators have publicly committed to a second location on their respective conference calls and investor presentations. Each operator can open 2 additional locations for a total of three. When the legalization bill eventually passes it will give existing operators the right to open even more locations. This means more townships will be looking to welcome or prohibit dispensaries and additional cultivation locations. New rounds of licensing will only increase the number of locations including 2019 which has been delayed due to court order

I have prepared three articles organized by region and county that outline all of the existing sales bans for medical and adult use. The state regions are organized by North, Central, and South. Two of the towns, Secaucus and Cranbury have recreational sales bans with preexisting medical dispensaries. These towns have made it clear they want those operators to open larger stores in towns that encourage recreational legal sales. Towns with medical dispensaries and bans are ultimately making long term competition more difficult and less lucrative. Communities with recreational sales bans guarantee they will not receive any cannabis jobs because operators need the optionality to pivot if and when the time comes. 

The cannabis industry has a lot to offer host communities, operators not only pay taxes but provide dozens of jobs per location and drive sales to complementary goods like food service. We can expect the number of retail locations to triple within the next 12 months. This expansion in retail licenses will lead to more towns accepting or denying applications. Consumers should expect more towns will publicly ban legal cannabis sales and mini cannabis capitals will emerge. One town in Burlington county hopes to attract New Jersey based farmers and dispensaries becoming the cannabis capital of the state. 

If you look at the table below you can see that a majority of the bans are in the North and Central region. Bergen, Monmouth, and Ocean counties have the most bans, these areas make up the wealthiest communities in the state and some beach vacation communities. Some of the areas where these sales bans cluster are along the northern border of the state and the barrier islands where land is scarce and businesses compete for vacation dollars. Both of these types of areas objectively make sense, what doesn’t make sense are big towns like Clifton or Wayne which are both huge and have commercial areas for multiple dispensaries. 

There are plenty of towns near New York and the Jersey shore that are negatively impacting their communities by preventing potential economic growth. There are still good examples of communities in the general area enthusiastically welcoming new cannabis businesses. Look at Ascend in Rochelle Park near Paramus and Zen Leaf from Verano in Neptune, both located next to regions with heavy bans, both located in major markets.  

New Jersey has a long-standing joke about Central Jersey, it doesn’t exist. There is no central Jersey according to my brother, and if you look at the map the central region defined by the state is divided not by geography but by county. The southern part of Ocean County is south of Burlington County which is in the southern license region of the state. If you analyze the North, Central, and Southern region you will notice the division of regions is organized by population and demand hubs.

Please check out the articles and let us know if we missed anything or if your town has recently discussed cannabis ordinance bans. We plan to update this list with additional bans as townships develop their policies on cannabis. You can find the North, Central, and South articles here if you did not already click above. 

 

New Jersey Cannabis Bans Organized by County and Population as a % of The County based on 2018 Data

Region

Counties 

Population 

Pop of Ban

Pop % of Ban

% of County 

# Towns 

# Towns with Bans 

S

Atlantic 

263,670

39,427

14.9532%

13.043%

23

3

N

Bergen

932,202

322,087

34.55%

34.783%

69

24

S

Burlington

445,349

0

0

0.000%

40

0

S

Camden

506,471

0

0

0.000%

36

0

S

Cape May

92,039

0

0

0.000%

15

0

S

Cumberland

149,527

24,442

16.35%

7.143%

14

1

N

Essex

798,975

17,486

2.19%

9.091%

22

2

S

Gloucester

291,636

0

0

0.000%

24

0

N

Hudson 

672,391

89,262

13.28%

16.667%

12

2

C

Hunterdon

124,371

0

0

0.000%

26

0

C

Mercer

367,430

0

0

0.000%

12

0

C

Middlesex

825,062

84,168

10.20%

16.667%

24

4

C

Monmouth

618,795

127,005

20.52%

21.154%

52

11

N

Morris

491,845

18,775

3.82%

10.256%

39

4

C

Ocean

697,186

197,130

28.28%

21.212%

33

7

N

Passaic

501,826

166,162

33.11%

25.000%

16

4

S

Salem

62,385

5,091

8.16%

13.333%

15

2

C

Somerset

328,934

54,880

16.68%

9.524%

21

2

N

Sussex

140,488

0

0

0.000%

23

0

C

Union

556,341

0

0

0.000%

21

0

N

Warren

105,267

0

0

0.000%

21

0



Read Part I 'North Jersey Towns Cannabis Industry Bans' at theblacklist.xyz/story

Read Part II 'Central Jersey Towns Cannabis Industry Bans' at theblacklist.xyz/story

Read Part III 'South Jersey Towns Cannabis Industry Bans' at theblacklist.xyz/story

 

Source: 

Recreational Marijuana Legalized by New Jersey Voters – New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/03/nyregion/nj-marijuana-legalization.html

Before NJ Gets To Vote, These Towns Already Said ‘NO’ to Legal Marijuana- NJ 101.5

https://nj1015.com/before-nj-gets-to-vote-these-towns-already-said-no-to-legal-marijuana/

NJ’s Largest Cannabis Dispensary Expands Its Footprint. See Inside the Cultivation Site – NJ.com

https://www.nj.com/marijuana/2020/09/njs-largest-medical-marijuana-dispensary-is-expanding-its-footprint-see-inside-the-cultivation-site.html

Curaleaf Investor Relations – 12/7/2020 Presentation 

https://ir.curaleaf.com/download/12.20+-+Updated+IR+PresentationUpdated.pdf

TerrAscend Receives Approval to Commence Cultivation at its New Jersey Greenhouse- TerrAscend NJ 

https://nj.terrascend.com/terrascend-receives-approval-to-commence-cultivation-at-its-new-jersey-greenhouse/

TerrAscend Completes Second Phase of New Jersey Cultivation and Manufacturing Facility

https://www.terrascend.com/terrascend-completes-second-phase-of-new-jersey-cultivation-and-manufacturing-facility/

MPX, iAnthus tangle in NJ court as adult use marijuana launch draws near- MJ Biz Daily 

https://mjbizdaily.com/mpx-ianthus-tangle-in-nj-court-as-adult-use-cannabis-launch-draws-near/

iAnthus to Commence Operations at New Jersey Cultivation Campus, Marks Tenth State in Operating Footprint – Ianthus 

https://www.ianthus.com/news-events/press-releases/detail/153/ianthus-to-commence-operations-at-new-jersey-cultivation

AYR Strategies to Buy liberty Health Sciences for $290 million in Stock and to Enter New Jersey with $101 million Garden State Dispensary Acquisition – New Cannabis Ventures

https://www.newcannabisventures.com/ayr-strategies-to-buy-liberty-health-sciences-for-290-million-in-stock-and-to-enter-new-jersey-with-101-million-garden-state-dispensary-acquisition/

New Jersey marijuana companies invest in infrastructure build outs ahead of recreational vote-  MJ Biz Daily 

https://mjbizdaily.com/new-jersey-marijuana-companies-invest-in-infrastructure-ahead-of-recreational-vote/

Alternative Treatment Centers - NJ.Gov- Division of Medical Marijuana  

https://www.nj.gov/health/medicalmarijuana/alt-treatment-centers/

Court puts new medical marijuana licenses on hold after N.J. denied some on technical issue- NJ.com 

https://www.nj.com/marijuana/2019/12/court-puts-new-medical-marijuana-licenses-on-hold-after-nj-denied-some-on-technical-issue.html

Mayor wants Shamong Township to be pot capital of New Jersey -New Jersey 12 

https://newjersey.news12.com/mayor-wants-shamong-township-to-be-pot-capital-of-new-jersey

Ascend Rochelle Park 

https://letsascend.com/location/rochelle-park/?loc=107&ifso=NJ

Zen Leaf Neptune 

https://zenleafdispensaries.com/dispensary/zen-leaf-neptune/

 

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