N.J. commission proposes licensing requirements for weed delivery

A closeup of a marijuana plant

File photo: A marijuana plant grows at the Compassionate Care Foundation's grow house in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. (Julio Cortez/AP)

New Jersey is one step closer to allowing weed delivery and other cannabis-related services.

This week, the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission, or CRC, proposed several amendments to existing weed regulations — including licensing procedures for delivery, distribution, and wholesale businesses.

The public will have about two months to comment on the proposed updates.

“Everyone should take a look at [the proposed updates] and provide their thoughts,”  said Dianna Houenou, chair of the CRC.

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“We use the feedback that we hear from the public to shape our rules,” Houenou said.

Under the proposed guidelines, cannabis retailers would also be required to provide customers education material that encourages safe consumption.

And it would clarify what constitutes one ounce of cannabis product — the maximum amount of weed a person can buy in one transaction.

“If a consumer wants to purchase a little bit of flower, and also an ingestible, an edible product, the new rules provide some details on how to add those two products together to come up with one ounce equivalent of cannabis products,” Houenou said.

The CRC said retailers and delivery services would not be permitted to sell or deliver more than:

  • 28.35 grams (one ounce) of usable cannabis;
  • Five grams of solid cannabis concentrate or 5 milliliters of cannabis oil.
  • Vaporized formulation containing more than 5 milliliters of cannabis oil.
  • Multiple ingestible cannabis products containing more than 1,000 milligrams of THC.
  • More than 28.35 gram (1 ounce), or the equivalent, of any combination of usable cannabis and cannabis products.
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Precious Osage-Erese said she was “excited” to read up on the “fleshed out” proposed regulations for cannabis delivery applicants. The East Orange native is the chief operating officer of Roll Up Life, Inc., a Black-owned cannabis delivery business based in her hometown.

She said mapping out a business strategy proved to be a challenge without knowing the commission’s rules for delivery services, though her organization found ways to manage.

“While you can use a lot of marketing research, which was what we used in Massachusetts and a couple of other states, you can sort of anticipate what the rules can be and draft up some operating procedures that way,” Osagie-Erese said. “Then when the rules come, you can tweak what needs to be tweaked. Essentially, that’s what we did.”

Osagie-Erese added that she thinks that regulators have made it easier for cannabis delivery companies in the state to turn a profit, highlighting the proposed “one-person” rule, which provides that only one employee needs to be in the car during drop offs.

Some states, like Massachusetts, require two employees in a car for delivery transactions.

New Jersey would also allow deliveries in cities that have opted out of cannabis retail sales, unlike Massachusetts, Osagie-Erese said.

“’I’m happy to see some of the things that are going to make it a lot more manageable for delivery services to operate in the state,” Osagie-Erese said.

So far, the CRC has only authorized licenses for cultivators, manufacturers, and some retailers.

The public can comment on the proposals, which are listed on the CRC’s website, until Sept. 30.

Recreational sales began in the state in April.

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