As we have previously reported, any municipal ordinances adopted prior to the February 22, 2021 adoption of P.L.2021, c.16, prohibiting or limiting cannabis establishments are null and void. Municipalities have until August 21, 2021, 180 days from the signing of the legalization bills, to enact an ordinance to opt-out of one, all, or combination of cannabis establishments. Otherwise, for five years, all cannabis licenses, except retail will become a permitted use in all industrial zones and retail establishments will become conditional use in all commercial or retail zones.
If a municipality chooses to opt-out they do not need to wait five years to opt-in but, if the municipality opts-in or takes no action they must wait five years before they can opt-out. Opt-out ordinances adopted after this initial five-year period are prospective only, meaning any cannabis establishment that began operating during this period will be permitted to continue operations, despite the change in local regulations.
On Thursday, March 18 we held a second free briefing on the new cannabis law. The briefing is now available for you to view. For more information and resources on the new cannabis legislation please visit the League’s cannabis resource page.