The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) took another step toward establishing consumption lounges in the state’s market this week when regulators proposed updated rules for the facilities.
Public comment will be accepted on the rules and amendments until March 18, according to the CRC’s announcement.
The CRC initially approved proposed rules for cannabis consumption lounges at its Dec. 2 meeting.
The new updates in the regulations establish the qualifications, application process and operation instructions for licensed cannabis dispensaries that want to have designated on-site spaces for their customers to consume cannabis.
Some key additions to the rules include requirements that consumption areas must be attached to a licensed cannabis dispensary and must allow medical patients to consume cannabis products purchased from another dispensary.
In addition, the new rules prohibit dispensaries from selling food and alcohol, but customers are permitted to bring or order food for delivery to the consumption lounge.
Another change in the regulations requires dispensary staff to refuse service to individuals who are obviously intoxicated.
The proposed rules allow cannabis consumption areas to be located indoors or outdoors, and require photo identification to verify that patrons are 21 and older.
The licensing fee for microbusinesses will be $1,000 and a standard license for other businesses will cost $5,000. Cannabis consumption lounge endorsements are valid for one year and must be renewed on an annual basis.
A cannabis dispensary licensee can only operate one cannabis consumption area, regardless of how many retail licenses they hold, according to the regulations.