CRC Releases List of Pro-Cannabis New Jersey Towns

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The NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) has released a list of pro-cannabis towns for the first time.

About 209 towns in New Jersey allow cannabis companies out of 564 towns or about 36 percent.

“The new Government Relations web page reflects the NJ-CRC’s commitment to provide free, easily accessible, useful information for municipal leaders, state legislators, and prospective and current cannabis business operators,” CRC Chief of Staff Jesus Alcazar declared.

“The page features a searchable table of the municipalities that have opted to welcome licensed cannabis businesses and the business classes they allow. As well as other instructive information to help municipalities participating or considering participation in New Jersey’s growing cannabis market,” he explained.

Alcazar initially was the CRC’s Director of Government Relations. He has since been promoted to Chief of Staff to replace Justin Rodriguez, who has since left.

CRC officials stated at a legislative cannabis hearing last year they started with 21 staffers and increased to 81. Their goal was to hit 135.

Pro-Cannabis New Jersey Towns by License Type

The list is broken down by the six classes of New Jersey cannabis licenses.

  • Class 1 Cultivator
  • Class 2 Manufacturer
  • Class 3 Wholesaler
  • Class 4 Distributor
  • Class 5 Dispensary
  • Class 6 Delivery

When they are allowed, consumption lounges will be features of dispensaries.

Testing Labs are not an official class of licenses. But they also cannot be operated without NJCRC approval.

CRC List Making Process

Any problem with the list not reflecting pro-cannabis towns should be blamed on the CRC. Heady NJ merely copied it.

(The CRC noted the City of Englewood was previously incorrectly noted as pro-cannabis, which has been removed.)

“The search table data is compiled using self-reported information from municipalities and information gleaned from reviewing municipal websites,” Alcazar explained.

“The database will continue to see revisions as municipalities inform the Government Relations Office of updates needed. We encourage them to do regularly to ensure the most accurate and up-to-date information,” he added.

Alcazar also noted the list comes with a disclaimer:

“The information presented in the table may become outdated, and it is to be used for information purposes only. The NJ-CRC cannot guarantee that the information is complete, timely, or up-to-date. Readers should contact municipalities directly for their most current and accurate information about its own adult-use cannabis business license ordinances and laws. Municipalities are wholly responsible for cannabis business approvals in their jurisdictions and may at any time and at their own discretion allow additional classes of licenses, enact caps on licenses, or may have already awarded their full allotment of licenses. While the NJ-CRC license application requires applicants have municipal approval, the Commission does not have jurisdiction over the municipal processes.”

The List of Pro-Cannabis New Jersey Towns

CountyTownsClass 1Class 2Class 3Class 4Class 5Class 6
AtlanticAbseconYesYesYesYesYesYes
AtlanticAtlantic CityYesYesYesYesYesYes
AtlanticBuenaYesYesYesYesYesYes
AtlanticEgg Habor CityYesYesYesYesYesYes
AtlanticEgg Harbor TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
AtlanticFolsomYesYesYesYesYesYes
AtlanticGalloway TwpYesYesYesYesNoYes
AtlanticHamilton TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
AtlanticPleasantvilleYesYesYesYesNoYes
BergenCarlstadtYesYesYesYesYesYes
BergenEast RutherfordYesYesYesYesNoNo
BergenLeoniaYesYesYesYesNoNo
BergenBergenfieldYesYesNoNoNoNo
BergenCliffside ParkNoNoNoNoYesNo
BergenEdgewaterYesYesYesYesYesYes
BergenElmwood ParkYesYesYesYesYesYes
BergenEnglewood CliffsYesYesYesYesYesYes
BergenFairviewYesYesYesYesYesYes
BergenFort LeeYesYesYesYesYesYes
BergenGarfieldYesYesYesYesYesNo
BergenHackensackNoNoNoNoYesNo
BergenLodiNoNoNoNoYesNo
BergenMaywoodYesYesYesYesYesYes
BergenMoonachieYesYesYesYesNoNo
BergenNorth ArlingtonYesYesYesYesNoYes
BergenOaklandYesYesYesYesNoYes
BergenOradellYesYesYesYesYesYes
BergenRamseyYesYesYesYesYesYes
BergenRidgefieldYesYesYesNoNoNo
BergenRiver EdgeNoNoNoNoYesNo
BergenRochelle ParkYesYesYesYesYesYes
BergenRutherfordYesYesYesYesNoNo
BergenSaddle BrookYesYesNoNoYesNo
BergenSouth HacksensackYesYesYesYesYesYes
BergenTeaneckYesYesYesYesYesYes
BergenWallingtonYesYesYesYesYesYes
BergenWood-RidgeYesYesYesYesNoNo
BurlingtonChesterfield TwpYesYesYesNoNoNo
BurlingtonBass River TwpYesYesYesYesNoYes
BurlingtonBeverlyYesYesYesYesNoYes
BurlingtonPemberton TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
BurlingtonWrightstownYesNoNoNoYesNo
BurlingtonBordentown CityYesYesNoNoYesYes
BurlingtonBurlington CityYesYesYesYesYesYes
BurlingtonCinnaminson TwpYesYesNoNoYesNo
BurlingtonDelran TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
BurlingtonEastampton TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
BurlingtonEdgewater ParkNoNoYesYesYesYes
BurlingtonEvesham TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
BurlingtonHainesport TwpNoNoYesYesNoNo
BurlingtonLumberton TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
BurlingtonMoorestown TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
BurlingtonMount HollyYesYesYesYesYesYes
BurlingtonMount LaurelYesYesYesYesYesYes
BurlingtonRiverside TwpYesYesYesYesYesNo
BurlingtonShamong TwpYesYesYesYesYesNo
BurlingtonWillingboro TwpYesYesYesNoYesNo
BurlingtonWoodland TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
CamdenClementonNoNoNoNoYesYes
CamdenGloucester CityYesYesYesYesYesYes
CamdenBarringtonNoNoNoNoYesNo
CamdenBellmawrYesYesYesYesYesYes
CamdenBrooklawnNoNoNoNoYesNo
CamdenCamden CityYesYesYesYesYesNo
CamdenChesilhurstNoNoYesNoYesYes
CamdenCollingswoodYesYesYesYesYesYes
CamdenGibbsboroYesYesYesYesYesYes
CamdenGloucester TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
CamdenLaurel SpringsNoNoNoNoYesYes
CamdenLawnsideYesYesYesYesNoNo
CamdenMagnoliaYesYesYesYesYesYes
CamdenMerchantvilleNoNoNoNoYesNo
CamdenOaklynNoNoNoNoYesYes
CamdenPennsauken TwpNoYesYesNoYesNo
CamdenRunnemedeYesYesYesYesYesYes
CamdenSomerdaleYesYesYesYesYesYes
CamdenTavistockYesYesYesYesYesYes
CamdenVoorhees TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
CamdenWaterford TwpYesYesYesYesNoYes
CamdenWinslow TwpYesYesYesYesNoNo
Cape MayLower TwpNoNoNoNoYesYes
Cape MayMiddle TwpYesYesNoNoYesNo
Cape MayWest Cape MayYesYesYesYesYesNo
Cape MayWoodbineYesYesYesYesNoNo
CumberlandDowneYesYesYesYesNoYes
CumberlandBridgetonYesYesYesYesYesYes
CumberlandCommercial TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
CumberlandFairfield TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
CumberlandGreenwich TwpNoNoNoNoYesNo
CumberlandMillvilleYesYesYesYesNoNo
CumberlandStow Creek TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
CumberlandVinelandYesYesYesYesYesYes
EssexBellevilleYesYesYesYesYesYes
EssexBloomfieldYesYesYesYesYesYes
EssexEast OrangeYesYesYesYesYesYes
EssexFairfieldNoYesYesYesNoNo
EssexIrvingtonYesYesYesYesYesYes
EssexMaplewoodYesYesYesYesYesYes
EssexMontclairYesYesYesYesYesYes
EssexNewarkYesYesYesYesYesYes
EssexSouth OrangeNoNoYesYesYesYes
EssexWest OrangeYesYesYesYesYesYes
GloucesterElk TwpYesYesYesYesNoNo
GloucesterFranklin TwpYesYesYesYesNoNo
GloucesterGlassboroYesYesYesYesYesYes
GloucesterGreenwich TwpYesYesYesYesNoYes
GloucesterLogan TwpNoYesNoNoNoNo
GloucesterMonroe TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
GloucesterNational ParkYesYesYesYesYesYes
GloucesterWest Deptford TwpYesYesYesYesNoNo
GloucesterWoodburyYesYesYesYesYesYes
GloucesterWoolwich TwpYesYesYesYesNoYes
HudsonBayonneYesYesYesYesYesYes
HudsonEast NewarkYesYesYesYesYesYes
HudsonHarrisonYesYesYesYesYesYes
HudsonHobokenNoNoYesNoYesYes
HudsonJersey CityYesYesYesYesYesYes
HudsonNorth BergenYesYesYesYesYesNo
HudsonSecaucusYesYesYesYesYesYes
HudsonWest New YorkNoNoNoNoYesNo
HunterdonFlemingtonYesYesYesYesYesYes
HunterdonHigh BridgeYesYesYesYesYesYes
HunterdonLambertvilleNoNoNoNoYesNo
HunterdonReadington TwpYesYesYesYesNoNo
HunterdonUnion TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
HunterdonWest Amwell TwpYesYesYesNoYesNo
MercerEwing TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
MercerHamilton TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
MercerHighstown BoroughYesYesYesYesNoNo
MercerHopewell TwpYesYesNoNoNoNo
MercerLawrence TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
MercerPenningtonNoNoNoNoYesYes
MercerTrentonYesYesYesYesYesYes
MiddlesexCarteretYesYesYesYesYesYes
MiddlesexEdisonYesYesYesYesYesYes
MiddlesexHighland ParkNoNoNoNoYesYes
MiddlesexJamesburgNoNoYesYesNoNo
MiddlesexNew BrunswickYesYesYesYesYesYes
MiddlesexNorth BrunswickYesYesYesYesYesYes
MiddlesexSouth PlainfieldNoYesYesYesNoNo
MiddlesexSouth RiverYesYesYesYesNoNo
MonmouthAberdeen TwpYesYesYesYesNoYes
MonmouthEatontownYesYesYesYesYesNo
MonmouthFreehold BoroughYesYesYesYesYesNo
MonmouthHighlandsYesYesYesYesYesYes
MonmouthKeyportYesYesYesYesYesYes
MonmouthLong BranchYesYesYesYesYesYes
MonmouthMatawanNoNoNoYesYesNo
MonmouthNeptune CityNoNoNoNoYesNo
MonmouthNeptune TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
MonmouthRed BankYesYesYesYesYesYes
MonmouthShrewsbury TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
MonmouthTinton FallsYesYesYesYesYesYes
MorrisBoonton TownNoNoYesNoYesNo
MorrisButlerNoNoNoNoYesNo
MorrisDoverYesYesYesYesYesYes
MorrisJefferson TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
MorrisMorristownYesYesYesYesYesYes
MorrisParsippany-Troy Hills TwpNoNoYesYesNoNo
MorrisPequannock TwpYesNoNoNoNoNo
MorrisRockaway BoroughNoNoNoNoYesNo
MorrisRockaway TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
MorrisVictory GardensYesYesYesYesYesYes
OceanLakehurstYesYesYesYesYesNo
OceanOcean GateYesYesYesYesYesYes
OceanOcean TownshipYesYesYesYesNoNo
OceanSouth Toms RiverYesYesYesYesYesYes
OceanSurf CityYesYesYesYesYesYes
PassaicBloomingdaleNoNoNoNoYesNo
PassaicHaledonYesYesNoNoYesNo
PassaicLittle FallsYesYesYesYesNoYes
PassaicPassaicYesYesYesYesNoNo
PassaicPatersonYesYesYesYesYesYes
PassaicWest MilfordYesYesYesYesYesYes
SalemCarneys Point TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
SalemLower Alloways Creek TwpYesYesYesYesNoNo
SalemOldmans TwpYesYesYesNoNoNo
SalemPenns GroveYesYesYesYesYesYes
SalemPennsville TwpYesYesYesYesNoYes
SalemSalem CityNoNoNoNoYesYes
SomersetBound BrookYesYesNoNoYesNo
SomersetFranklin TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
SomersetNorth PlainfieldYesYesYesYesYesNo
SomersetSomervilleNoNoNoNoYesNo
SomersetSouth Bound BrookNoNoNoNoYesYes
SussexAndover BoroughYesYesYesYesYesYes
SussexAndover TwpYesYesYesYesNoNo
SussexFrankford TwpYesYesNoYesNoYes
SussexFredon TwpYesNoNoNoNoNo
SussexNewtonYesYesYesYesYesYes
SussexSussexYesYesYesYesYesYes
SussexVernon TwpYesYesYesYesYesYes
UnionElizabethYesYesYesYesYesNo
UnionLindenYesYesNoNoNoNo
UnionPlainfieldYesYesYesYesYesNo
UnionRahwayYesYesYesYesNoYes
UnionRoselle YesYesYesYesYesYes
UnionRoselle ParkYesYesYesYesYesNo
UnionScotch PlainsYesYesYesYesYesYes
UnionSpringfieldYesYesYesYesYesYes
UnionUnion TownshipYesYesYesYesYesYes
WarrenBelvidereYesYesYesYesYesYes
WarrenFrelinghuysen TwpYesYesNoNoNoNo
WarrenHackettstownYesYesNoNoNoNo
WarrenHarmony TwpYesNoNoYesNoYes
WarrenOxford TwpYesYesYesYesNoNo
WarrenPohatcongNoNoNoNoYesNo
WarrenWashington BoroughYesYesYesYesYesYes

Analyzing the List of Pro-Cannabis New Jersey Towns

Several towns like the idea of manufacturing and cultivating cannabis but not selling it at dispensaries.

About 51 of the 209 towns don’t allow dispensaries. That leaves only158 out of 564 towns that are in favor of cannabis dispensaries. This means that just 28 percent of all towns said yes, less than a third.

Nonetheless, 28 percent represents legitimate progress. It is especially true if you realize that federal marijuana prohibition began in 1937 or 87 years ago and counting.

Some towns opted out in August 2021 before the mandated deadline. Some, like Maplewood in Essex County and Dover in Morris County, opted in after the deadline. Thus, progress has been made slowly but surely in increasing the number of pro-dispensary towns.

But some towns don’t like cultivation, for example. Thirty-five towns out of the 209 pro-cannabis New Jersey towns don’t allow it.

Thus, one can easily drive through dispensary deserts in some counties like Ocean County where few towns opted in.

But then, you can go to dispensary clusters with distance issues in Franklin Township in Somerset County, Mount Holly in Burlington County, and Jersey City in Hudson County, where there might be too many.

Many New Jersey cannabis businesspeople and professionals expect some of the clustered dispensaries to fail.

In other places like Union County, more progressive Democratic towns opted in. But more traditionally conservative Republican towns opted out.

A few libertarian Republican towns like West Milford are also friendly to cannabis.

The NJCRC and Government Relations

The NJCRC has also created municipality Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

One thing they note is the regulations set by the NJCRC issued in August 2021. A few towns said they wanted to see them before opting in.

They highlight a lot of their key principles:

“Prioritizing applications from people with prior marijuana convictions, certified minority-, women-, and disabled veteran-owned businesses, and people who live or will operate in one of several designated Impact Zones or economically disadvantaged areas;

• Flexible application requirements for microbusinesses and those applying for conditional licenses.

• Application fees as low as $100;

• Requiring cannabis businesses to contain odors and engage with neighbors who may have concerns about their presence, as well as create and implement environmental sustainability plans;

• Prohibitions on the use of harmful ingredients or chemicals in the cultivation of cannabis or the manufacturing of cannabis products;

• Requiring cannabis businesses to have consumer education materials available for customers, including information on potential side effects of cannabis use, safe techniques for using cannabis, and indicators of substance abuse; and

• Strict requirements that products sold in stores come with warning statements about potential health risks as well as the hotline for accessing poison control centers.”

Progress on Pro-Cannabis New Jersey Town Information

Many entrepreneurs and professionals have looked for such a list for some time since the CREAMMA bill implementing the licensed New Jersey adult-use cannabis market was signed into law in 2021.

Towns have a lot of power in New Jersey to allow or stop cannabis companies from being based within their boundaries. So, finding a pro-cannabis New Jersey town that will allow a company to operate is one of the biggest barriers to entering the legal cannabis market.

Most towns that allow them created “Green Zones” which might not include the best place to do business in town. Or they placed mandated distance requirements from schools, places of worship, parks, or homes that made finding an affordable place in town to do business a cut-throat competition.

The NJCRC only has a certain amount of influence to educate and persuade towns to be pro-cannabis. They cannot issue mandates demanding towns comply with their orders.

Town Politics and Problems

To do business as a licensed New Jersey cannabis company in town, you need a resolution from the city council.

So, to flip a town, you need people to charm the city council and mayor.

A unique coalition or political movement is often required to move each town.

Only a few lawyers, businesspeople, professionals, and advocates have taken up the task of seeking to flip multiple towns with varying results.

Pushing Through Public Policy Red Tape and Barriers

The catch with politics and government is how slow it can be to change and implement laws and regulations.

Issues with old laws, many officials, political pressures or lack thereof put on the elected official who appointed them, political opposition, and other priorities can slow the speed of progress.

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Dan Ulloa
Dan Ulloa is the Editor and Publisher of Heady NJ, with a background in politics, journalism, and a passion for the cannabis community. He curates and publishes news, events, and insights on the industry. Dan has been a leading voice in the New Jersey cannabis scene, educating and informing the public about this rapidly evolving industry. He ranked #35 on the INSIDER NJ Cannabis Power List out of 100 in 2022.