As the August 21st 2021 date approaches for the disclosure of the finalized cannabis regulations in New Jersey, cannabis business holders and potential licensees should begin the process of implementing operating agreements and potential collaborations. The Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) had released draft regulations that provided guidance on the criteria needed for a successful license application. Potential licensees and business owners should recognize the potential for creativity in forming collaborations to establish their businesses. This is true no matter which type of license you are obtaining: retail, grower, distributor, or manufacture, in both the recreational and medical marijuana industries. Alternate business plans which include collaborations between license applicants, license holders, business entities and local towns, will ensure cost effective strategies thereby allowing small and minority businesses to succeed and thrive.
The importance of collaborations and creative lawyering has been emphasized based on the CRC’s emphasis on local approval. Recent attendance at township meetings regarding local regulations of cannabis provide flexibility for not only the individual townships but also the specific needs of businesses, whether they be on the medical or recreational side. It has become imperative that businesses form a collaboration with their host towns to gain confidence and trust as we proceed in this unique business industry. The importance of certain aspects and requirements which may not be appreciated at the local level for this new industry must be provided and addressed by potential business owners in these towns; further building a relationship of trust and cooperation. Professional service providers in the cannabis industry must take the initiative to learn all of these specific issues which need to be addressed. Therefore, putting together a strong team of professionals, experienced in all aspects of the cannabis industry is imperative not only to obtain a license and local approval but also for the success of a particular business.