Interest in Cannabis Business Peaks in South Jersey

Back in the summer, a number of municipalities in South Jersey went over whether or not they would allow cannabis-related business in their areas. As we reported, many towns were opting not to allow cannabis—namely, due to the fact that they don’t know how this industry will present itself.

However, a number of permitted cannabis-related businesses have been showing keen interest in many South Jersey towns, including Hamilton Township, Atlantic City, Egg Harbor City, West Cape May and Lower Township.

In particular, Hamilton Township has been overwhelmed with calls from companies looking to start their occupation in the Business Park. The township’s 690-acre area already hosts many big corporations, from Pepsi to Stroehmann.

As of Wednesday night, the township’s Industrial Commission has given contracts to two separate lots within the Business Park, with a third letter of intent being accepted. However, it can’t currently be made public whether or not these businesses are involved in the recreational cannabis industry.

Furthermore, Hamilton’s township passed an initiative that allows for cannabis business in highway commercial, design commercial, and agricultural forest zones. “We have been fielding inquiries from border to border,” said Hamilton Township’s Mayor Charles Cain. “We average four to six inquiries a week.”

These inquiries began immediately after New Jersey voters legalized cannabis on November 3rd, 2020. “However, we have seen a substantial increase [in inquiries] since the township approved it. I would estimate they have a little more than doubled,” noted Cain.

When cannabis business was being debated in multiple New Jersey municipalities, Hamilton’s Township Committee unanimously agreed to allow the industry to take its roots in Hamilton.

“Voters approved cannabis on a 3-1 margin. That sent a clear signal of the wishes of township residents. The revenue generated from the approved classes would have been distributed to our bordering towns,” Cain said.

Cannabis Ventures in Other South Jersey Municipalities

Atlantic City’s Mayor, Marty Small Sr, has also seen a peak interest in cannabis business. Whether it be large or small companies or individuals within the community simply looking for job opportunities.

“I think word is getting out that Atlantic City is allowing all classes of cannabis businesses and the city of Atlantic City, through the Atlantic City Cannabis Commission, is here to serve as a resource for those who are interested in owning a business in this industry,” said Kash McKinley, aid to the city mayor.

In Egg Harbor, on August 21, the City Council all agreed on an ordinance that allows for cannabis businesses to operate in six marketplace classes. They’ve allowed for specific industrial use or purpose zones and also concurred that one retail cannabis establishment can set up shop on both Philadelphia Avenue and the White Horse Pike.

According to Egg Harbor City Mayor, Lisa Jiampetti, most of the interest comes from cannabis growers or cultivators. The City Council has already passed a resolution that allows Phoenix Health Ventures LLC to operate a state-licensed cannabis cultivation facility.

As mentioned, West Cape May and Lower Township were some of the first municipalities to allow cannabis sales. While many have shown interest in cannabis business, there isn’t clear indication as to how serious this interest is.

Unlike other municipalities, West Cape May has no limit on how many cannabis-related businesses can operate in one area. According to Mayor Carol Sabo, these decisions should come from business owners overlooking the competition already laid out in one area.

Cannabis dispensaries are set to open on March 15 in New Jersey—with growers, processors, and testing labs beginning operations on December 15. While there is a cap on growing licenses (37 new licenses are allowed between February 2021 and February 2023), there are no limits on business licenses.

With that and this peak interest in South Jersey in mind, New Jerseyans should expect many progresses in their state’s cannabis industry come next year.


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