Franchising, home-rule, taxes, teenage use and Gottheimer’s ‘No’ vote.

By Published On: September 11, 2020Categories: News

Can a franchising model offer new points of entry to non-license holders?

While many companies expand their footprint through licensing brands to state-based operators, some are looking to go one step further — franchising. Industry experts say we’ll be seeing more franchising in the future as markets in the United States mature. 

“Yes, absolutely,” Anthony Coniglio, CEO of NewLake Capital said. “I’m not saying it will be successful, but I think we’ll see more and more people try.”

 Justin Livingston vice president of franchise development at Unity RdLivingston, was more optimistic: “Franchising is such a brilliant way to get into business.” (By Justin Zaremba | NJ Cannabis Insider)

You want to reduce teenage use of cannabis? Simple: Legalize it.

Industry Lounge: Contrary to conventional wisdom, teenage use of cannabis actually goes down in states that have legalized it in one form or another.

Hard to believe, right? Well, not if you really think about it. 

Drug dealers don’t care if you’re 12, 15 or 50. Conversely, you can’t walk into a dispensary until you’ve already proven you’re over 21. Drug dealers don’t pay taxes and create jobs, dispensary operators do. (By Scott Rudder, New Jersey CannaBusiness Association)

Taxes: How will the cannabis pie be sliced?

Looking to cannabis sales as a source of new tax revenue, some have begun to question the state sales tax the ballot question seeks to establish on recreational cannabis, and wonder how, and if, it could be changed to garner more revenue.

The ballot question approved by the state Legislature asks voters to legalize the plant for adult-use and establish an industry in which sales would see a 6.625% tax. That number falls far below many other states, which have tax rates between 15% and up to 41%, when both local and state are folded in. (D.C. falls into an odd, tax-free category, as the city does not control its own budget and cannabis remains illegal federally). The question gives municipalities the freedom to add their own tax, too.

But with the state now facing huge budget shortfalls due to the coronavirus, some in the industry hope the Legislature will impose a higher tax, or at least leave room for some flexibility down the road. (By Amanda Hoover | NJ Advance Media for

Picking a fight with N.J.‘s Home Rule?

This one legal challenge could redefine the state’s role in regulating the industry, and even erode the heralded tradition of home rule in New Jersey.

There is no shortage of speculation on what the case might mean for the state of New Jersey and local officials if the plaintiff prevails.

The state must be allowed to regulate how and where cannabis businesses operate, and preserve the decisions made by local officials, said Michael Cerra, executive director for the New Jersey League of Municipalities.

“The state realized to facilitate the process that (community) support was critical to get these dispensaries online. To say the governing body should have no say is contrary to basic home rule principles and contrary to common sense,” Cerra said. (By Susan K. Livio | NJ Advance Media for

Here’s why this N.J. congressman voted against recreational weed

When the U.S. House last week voted on an amendment blocking the U.S. Justice Department from enforcing the federal ban on marijuana in states that have legalized the drug for recreational use, only six Democrats voted no.

One was from New Jersey, whose voters this November will decide whether to allow recreational cannabis.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-5th Dist., said his concern was allowing the widespread use of a drug when there are no reliable tests to determine whether someone is driving under the influence of cannabis. (By Jonathan D. Salant | NJ Advance Media for

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