NJ Takes Steps To Regulate Environmental Impacts Of Cannabis

CANNANNEW REPORT

Published to the Mondaq Platform by Matthew Karmel Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti While entrepreneurs and investors rush to set up cannabis businesses throughout the Garden State, how will New Jersey regulate the environmental impacts of the industry? As we discussed in our previous post — NJ Cannabis Industry to Focus on Environmental Considerations — most people fail to recognize the environmental impact of cannabis.  In addition to being energy intensive, producing cannabis results in numerous issues related to water, air quality, and waste management. While the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (“CRC”) now has adopted regulations relating to environmental impact and sustainability, many questions remain.  (These regulations will be in effect for up to one year, and will empower the CRC to begin licensing cannabis businesses.) Applicants and existing businesses alike should consult with appropriate professionals to understand and minimize environmental impacts — especially prospective businesses that will be participating in the competitive licensing process. Environmental Impact and Sustainability Plans In order to operate a cannabis business in New Jersey, businesses need to obtain one of the coveted licenses through the competitive licensing process.  As part of the process, prospective cannabis businesses must prepare and submit an environmental impact plan.  The environmental impact plan is evaluated and scored, and can impact whether an applicant receives one of the licenses. Before the new regulations, there was very little information about the proper components of an environmental impact plan for cannabis businesses in New Jersey, primarily for two reasons: The adult-use cannabis law does not provide details regarding the components of environmental impact plans; and Environmental impact plans previously submitted to the New Jersey Department of Health under New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Program have not been made public. Fortunately, the new regulations provide some information regarding the appropriate elements of an environmental impact plan.  Interestingly,…

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