Mon – Fri: 8:30 – 4:00
Closed from 12–1pm
Ewing, NJ 08628
The RFA for Cannabis is now closed and Ewing Township is no longer accepting applications for any Cannabis Businesses at this time. Please check back periodically for when we re-open the application process.
In February of 2021 the State of New Jersey passed the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (“CREAMM” or the “Act”) which legalizes the recreational use of marijuana by adults 21 years of age or older and establishes a regulatory and licensing scheme for commercial production, distribution, and sale of cannabis items. Under the Act, if the Township desires to maintain local control of what may be permitted or prohibited within the Township for the next five years, the Township is required to adopt some form of regulation.
Section 31b of the Act stipulates: .. any municipal regulation or prohibition must be adopted within 180 days of the effective date of the Act (i.e., by August 22, 2021). The failure to act within 180 days 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, and the retail selling of cannabis items to consumers shall be conditional use in all commercial and retail zones.
The Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) has published a 160-page initial rule book. However, the tight statutory deadline for filing initial rules did not allow the CRC to include rules on every sector of the cannabis industry. As such, the CRC chose to prioritize those sectors that must come first when establishing the new industry. The initial regulations include minimum standards for providing the secure transportation and home delivery of cannabis items. While the rule book is incomplete, the CRC is dedicated to ensuring that details for wholesalers, distributors, and delivery service businesses are included in its formal rule proposal, which is expected to be released in the near future.
Accordingly, the Township wanted the option to maintain local control of what may be permitted or prohibited within the Township. The Township Council approved an ordinance (Ordinance 21-16), which will be amended from time-to time as final rules become available, permitting cannabis establishments, distributors, and delivery services to operate within its borders. This ordinance regulates the number, location, manner, and times of operation of these establishments, distributors, and delivery services. It also establishes civil penalties for the violation of any such regulations, provided the time of operation of delivery services shall be subject only to regulation by the State Cannabis Regulatory Commission. The Zoning Overlay Map can be found HERE.
How can I apply to gain municipal support to operate a cannabis business in Ewing Township?
The Township's application process starts with the local application. Once reviewed, the Township will take a meeting with prospective applicants to get them what they need to submit an application with the CRC.
What is the Township looking for from applicants?
It is imperative that applicants do thorough research and have a detailed plan for how they seek to be good corporate citizens in the Township. Your community plan should be detailed enough to have thoughtful discussions regarding how you plan to involve Ewing citizens formally and informally in your business. From local ownership, to partnerships with philanthropic organizations, the applicant should be prepared to make a positive impact on the Ewing and greater Trenton community.
I found a property I'd like to utilize that is properly zoned. What else do I need to consider?
Ewing's land development ordinance is specific in that a property must meet site design criteria standards. Please ensure that your Team reviews the property to ensure it can meet these standards that include; parking, safe and efficient ingress and egress, landscaping, and aesthetic (architectural) improvements, etc.
What are the local requirements for commercial cannabis activity?
The NJ CREAMM Act authorizes municipalities to enact ordinances or regulations governing the number of cannabis establishments within their borders. Each municipality is responsible for establishing and enforcing its own rules and process that a cannabis business must follow to obtain local approval. The Township passed Ordinance 21-16 to amend certain general ordinances to include cannabis regulations, which limits the number of recreational dispensaries to no more than two. There is no limit of the number of medical dispensaries, manufacturing facilities, wholesalers or cultivation centers. This ordinance will be amended, from time to time, in the future when the CRC has finalized its rules. Please see Ordinance 21-16 for more information.
Can a business operate legally with just approval from a local municipality instead of obtaining a state license?
No. All legal cannabis operators must receive a license from the NJCRC to conduct cannabis business in New Jersey.
For municipalities that have chosen to allow cannabis businesses to operate, what authority do municipalities have regarding the establishment and operation of a cannabis business?
So long as it does not conflict with the CREAMM Act, a municipality may enact an ordinance or regulation to:
Municipalities will also be able to weigh in with the CRC on preferences for license applicants.
How likely is it that CRC will grant a retail dispensary (distribution) license to the Township?
Based on availability, the Township can issue a maximum of 5 dispensary retail licenses.
What is the most probable class of cannabis business that may obtain a license from CRC to operate in the Township?
Cultivation and/or manufacturing is based solely on the availability of commercial and light industrial land available in the market.