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NJ Cannabis Vote to Ignite Legal Pot Wave Across the Region

Law360

November 02, 2020

As seen in Law360: “New Jerseyans appear poised to take a historic step Tuesday toward legalizing recreational marijuana for adult use, setting the stage for what experts say would be a blockbuster market in the Garden State and spurring neighboring states to get in the legal pot game.

“With polling data showing that a majority of voters support the ballot question, recreational pot sales in New Jersey would create an opportunity for cannabis businesses to draw customers from throughout the tri-state area and further expand an industry that has proven resilient during the economic upheaval caused by the coronavirus outbreak, experts said.”

The article later continues, “As in the medical marijuana program, the recreational licensing process will likely spark litigation as businesses compete to enter the market, according to Robert E. Schiappacasse of Sills Cummis & Gross P.C., co-chair of the firm's cannabis industry practice group.

“The competition will stem from what experts say would be a critical element of New Jersey's recreational market: a limited number of licenses.

“Restricting the amount of licenses will help avoid oversupply in the market, experts said. From the state's perspective, ‘if the concern is tax revenue, the state is going to have an interest in not having too much supply in the system and thereby depressing prices,’ Schiappacasse said.

“Schiappacasse likened such restrictions to limiting liquor licenses in towns, noting that ‘this is a recreational product and to the extent that it's going to be regulated and controlled, limitations on number and location of licenses probably makes the most sense.’”