Former Mayor, Assemblyman Opens New Jersey Dispensary

Former Mayor, Assemblyman Opens New Jersey Dispensary

Former Medford, New Jersey mayor and former New Jersey General Assemblyman Scott Rudder is opening a dispensary in Riverside in his home state. Riverside, a suburb in the greater Philadelphia-Camden area, is a prime location for growth in the cannabis sector.

Rudder, who is Republican, founded the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association in 2016, a leading cannabis trade industry association. He’s also a veteran and helped organize and was a top consultant to statewide campaigns to legalize adult-use cannabis in New Jersey in 2020, and also that year, named Rudder the “Mayor of Cannabis.” 

Township Green will hold its grand opening today with local officials and dignitaries, including State Senator Troy Singleton, who will take part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the state’s most recent cannabis dispensary to open. 

“Township Green exemplifies what we hoped to achieve by legalizing cannabis in New Jersey,” said Rudder. “We’re focused not just on providing a great product but on building a sense of community and bringing commerce to downtown Riverside. Please join us on March 25 as we start this new and exciting chapter for the community.”

The reasoning behind the opening of this retail location is to help revitalize and bring more foot traffic to Riverside’s downtown business district. It will also provide about 20 jobs, with the majority of them being given to local residents, some of whom can walk to work. 

Last year, Rudder spoke to Insider NJ and said that about 70% of New Jersey towns have opted out of allowing cannabis businesses in their communities. However, he added, “that makes those remaining 30% very competitive.” He pushed to expand the state’s cannabis sector forward. “Although more and more people are picking up cannabis and putting down alcohol,” Rudder continued, “a lot of people still feel very closeted about it, which surprises me. … Some towns are a little slow getting to the mark. But some towns are also looking to opt back in [to having cannabis businesses], due to the tax benefits and job creation. I’m a former mayor, father of three. I understand those concerns.”

With his new dispensary, he hopes to continue to take part in the growth of the state’s cannabis sector. It involves people who are respected in the community. Township Green’s Chief of Security, for instance, is the retired Riverside Chief of Police and several of the security personnel for the dispensary are local firefighters.

Township Green’s grand opening will take place today, March 25 at 10:30 a.m. at 15 Scott Street, Riverside, New Jersey.

Meanwhile, the state is making strides in cannabis reform, such as ironing out the rules for consumption lounges.

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC), responsible for the rules and regulations of cannabis in the state, met on Jan. 17 and unanimously approved regulations for consumption lounges in the state.

According to a CRC press release, the rules need to be approved by the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law, but after that occurs, dispensary operators need to seek municipal approval in order to be endorsed by the CRC to have a consumption lounge. Endorsements last for one year and must be renewed every year.

CRC Executive Director Jeff Brown said in a statement that consumption lounges would contribute to the success of New Jersey’s cannabis industry. “New Jersey’s cannabis industry is well on its way to being a billion-dollar industry, and consumption areas will likely bolster that—fostering a communal experience for those 21 and older around cannabis in a regulated and secure space,” Brown said.

The primary rules state that a consumption area can’t be a standalone business, but that it must be attached to a retail store. If a dispensary owns multiple dispensaries, they are only permitted to have one consumption space.

In addition, as medical sales and enrollment gradually decline amid adult-use sales, the CRC is introducing digital medical cannabis cards with no registration and renewal fees shortly after reducing fees for its physical medical cards.

According to the commission, the new digital cards will begin rolling out in a few weeks and were introduced to prioritize patient accessibility and convenience. The digital cards can be presented on a mobile device, eliminating the risk of losing or damaging a physical card while also enhancing accessibility, the commission said.

Those who would still like a physical medical card are still in for a bargain, as the CRC also recently reduced its physical registration fees to $10—they will not be required to pay again until renewal two years later, which is also a $10 fee.

The opening of Township Green add to New Jersey’s growing industry, with plans to prioritize local community members.

  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine 

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