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Mollie Hartman Lustig Discusses Cannabis Consumption Areas

Tue 14 February 2023 News & Press

In an article written by 420 NJ Events, Mollie Hartman Lustig, Chair of our Cannabis Practice Group, discusses cannabis consumption areas: the desire for consumers to find a safe location to consume, and the risks and liabilities that business owners face in operating such establishments. The local and state statutes already in place according to the current readopted rules under N.J.A.C. 17:30 (the document that lays rules for out “the regulation of the purchase, sale, cultivation, production, manufacturing, transportation, and delivery of cannabis or cannabis items”) create several complications to the construction and opening of these lounges. The statute, according to Hartman Lustig, says cannabis items can either be obtained from the retailer or brought by a person to the consumption area. “That’s really vague,” she said. “Is that someone coming in through the front doors of a cannabis retailer and out the backdoor to the consumption area with a product that may not be licensed in New Jersey? From a legal perspective, I would never advise a client to permit that.” Hartman Lustig said from a liability standpoint, some very stringent security policies would be necessary, such as consumers being required to show that the products they are bringing to the consumption area are from a licensed retailer. She references dram shop laws, which hold bars and restaurants liable for things like food poisoning and over-serving customers. The same would go for cannabis retailers who allow untested and unlicensed products into consumption facilities.

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