NJSBA to Honor Judge Mellaci

Posted on July 15th, 2022

The Honorable Anthony J. Mellaci, Jr., retired Superior Court Judge, currently serving as Of Counsel with Ansell Grimm & Aaron will be honored by the New Jersey State Bar Association as Monmouth County’s Daniel J. O’Hern Professionalism Award winner.

The O’Hern Award is presented annually to an attorney who is a well-respected member of the legal community and exhibits integrity, competence, high ethical standards, career achievement and service to the bar and/or community. The award is named for the Honorable Daniel J. O’Hern, a retired associate justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, and lifelong Monmouth County resident, who was an advisor to the Commission from its inception in 1996 until his passing in 2009.

Judge Mellaci is slated to receive the award at the NJSB’s July 19 luncheon at the Forsgate Country Club, Monroe.

July 2022 Newsletter

Posted on July 5th, 2022

Axelrod Performing Arts Annual Gala Celebrates Honoree James G. Aaron

On Thursday, June 23, the Axelrod Performing Arts Center (APAC) invited guests to a Gala affair — an evening to honor James G. Aaron, Esq. The event celebrated Mr. Aaron as well as APAC’s mission  to provide cultural arts to the community. The event is the theatre’s principal fundraiser of the year and ended with a special performance by Tony Award nominee, and Broadway Star, Jarrod Spector and his 10-piece band. “We’re excited to celebrate our longtime supporter and friend, Jimmy Aaron” said CEO Jess Levy. Mr. Aaron, a partner at Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC, has served as a leader and longtime board member supporting the expansion and advancement of APAC programming. “This event is both a spectacular party and an opportunity to applaud and support the work Jimmy’s contributions to APAC, and the mission of Axelrod Performing Arts Center’s innovative work, and cultural experience for theatre lovers.” Event organizer, Karen Rafiqi, coordinated the event along with dedicated APAC staff members. The Honorary Committee for the event included Co-Chairs, Elise Feldman and Ira Kreizman.

 

The Cannabis Law Practice Continues Training through the National Business Institute on July 19

The National Business Institute (NBI) is hosting a speaker event titled, “Marijuana Business Law in New Jersey.” NBI is an organization dedicated to providing continuing education and learning for professional. Joshua Bauchner will cover the following topics: Application Procedures: Avoiding Mistakes Grounds for License Refusal, License Renewals, License Transfers, Appealing Application Denials. This will be presented as a LIVE Online Seminar. Please click HERE for registration information.

 

 

 

MINI-ROUNDTABLE: Q&A Report with Cannabis Industry Experts and Advocates

Financier Worldwide Magazine, publisher of the quarterly e-magazine, Corporate Disputes, reached out to Ansell Grimm & Aaron’s Cannabis Law Practice Chair, Joshua Bauchner, to participate in a special Q&A report titled, “Cannabis Regulation and the Litigation Landscape.” This report is available online and registration is free. Please click HERE  to be directed to the latest edition.

 

 

 

 

 

Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC Celebrates Nomination at New Jersey’s First-Ever Cannabis Industry Awards Gala

Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC attended the New Jersey Cannabis Insider Awards Gala as an “Excellence in Cannabis Law” nominee on June 9, 2022. The Cannabis Awards Gala marked New Jersey’s first-ever cannabis industry awards event. A few hundred thought-leaders and supporters gathered at the Carteret Performing Arts Center to recognize 24 businesses for their excellence in the Cannabis industry. “We feel honored to be recognized and have our firm included among the inspired community that comprises the New Jersey Cannabis industry,” said Joshua Bauchner, Chair of the Cannabis Law Practice. The award recipients were announced during the evening and attendees enjoyed celebrating a new milestone for the cannabis industry.

 

 

Jackson Planning Board Approves Warehouse on Herman Road

The members of the Jackson Planning Board voted 8-1 to grant preliminary and final major site plan approval to an applicant who plans to construct a 35,361-square-foot, one-story warehouse on Herman Road. The application of 498 Herman Jackson, LLC, was heard during the board’s June 6 meeting in the municipal building. The applicant was represented by attorney Jennifer S. Krimko of the firm, engineer Thomas Muller, and architect David Collins.

 

 

 

 

 

Asbury Park Free Summer Concert Series Returns in Summer 2022

ASBURY PARK, NJ — The Asbury Park Music Foundation announces a full return to multiple free live music series this summer. The 2022 summer music series starts with Music Mondays in Springwood Park. There are performances booked through July and August for the sixth season of this popular event. AP Live on the Asbury Park boardwalk also returns, with free music on Wednesday nights right next to MOGO. Lakehouse Academy bands, some of which feature APMF scholarship students, will open the show each week followed by local artists of all genres.

 

 

 

CWCBExpo: A B2B Tradeshow To Remember

Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC attended the CWCBExpo at the Javit’s Center during its 3-day cannabis industry event. New York is rapidly becoming one of the largest cannabis economic sectors. AG&A met with industry leaders and demonstrated its commitment to diverse and inclusive business practices.

 

 

 


Joshua S. Bauchner Speaks at The NORML Aspen Legal Seminar

The NORML Aspen Legal Seminar was held at the Gant Hotel from June 2 to June 4 in Colorado. Joshua Bauchner joined a cadre of presenters from across the nation who shared their insights on important issues in cannabis law in this fully accredited legal seminar.  Timely topics included: The Admissibility of Digital Evidence; 280E Battle with the IRS: How to Prepare and Represent Your Cannabis Client; Social Equity in NY & NJ; Marijuana and Child Custody Issues; Surviving an Overreaching Prosecutor; Attorney Fees In Criminal Cases; Overcoming Racial Bias When Representing a Black Defendant; Ethical Considerations in Representing the Cannabis Industry Client; The Future of Cannabis; and Annual Review of Important 4th Amendment Decisions.

 

 

 

NJSBA Cannabis Law Committee Co-Chairs Reappointed for 2022-2023 Term

The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) is instrumental in providing members with training and information. NJSBA announced its reappointment of Joshua Bauchner, Esq. and Lisa Gora, Esq. as the Co-Chairs of its Cannabis Law Committee. In their role as co-chairs, Josh and Lisa also moderated cannabis panels at the NJSBA Annual Convention in Atlantic City.

 

 

 

Andrea B. White Appointed to The New Jersey State Bar Association’s Family Law Strategic Planning Committee

Andrea B. White, Esq. was invited and accepted an appointment as a member of The New Jersey State Bar Association’s (NJSBA) Membership Committee in May 2022. The work of the committee is essential to advancing the interests of the Association, the legal profession, and the public. Andrea B. White also serves on the New Jersey State Bar Association Family Lawyer Editorial Board as a Senior Editor and on its Planning Committee for the Annual Mid-Year Meeting and Retreat. Her practice is exclusively devoted to Family Law at Ansell Grimm & Aaron where she assists clients in divorce, custody, parenting time, child support, alimony and domestic violence issues. Ms. White is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney and is qualified pursuant to R. I :40 to mediate family law cases. She also has been admitted as an Attorney and Counselor of the Supreme Court of the United States since 2006. Ms. White lectured at the NJSBA’s Annual Meeting on May 19 on the topic, “Re-examining Child Support Guidelines In 2022.”

 

Former Red Bank Council President Charged with Stealing Thousands from Non-Profit

Former Red Bank Council President Hazim Yassin has been charged with stealing thousands of dollars from a non-profit education foundation, acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey said. Yassin, 32, of the Lincroft section of Middletown, has been charged with third-degree theft by unlawful taking, the Prosecutor’s Office said. Yassin’s defense attorney, Robert A. Honecker, Jr., of Ansell Grimm & Aaron PC, defended his client’s charges in a phone call with the Asbury Park Press.

 

 

 


Athletes In Cannabis Conference Creates Community

The Athletes in Cannabis NY/NJ Regional Tradeshow was held on May 6 – 7, 2022 at the Hilton Newark Airport. Joshua Bauchner of Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC was the Keynote Speaker and gave a poignant “State of the Cannabis” speech on Friday morning. This 2-day event allowed individuals from growers to cannabis lending companies to interact with retired members of the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB.

Posted in News

Cannabis Law Update — June 2022

Posted on June 23rd, 2022

MINI-ROUNDTABLE: Q&A Report with Cannabis Industry Experts and Advocates

Financier Worldwide Magazine, publisher of the quarterly e-magazine, Corporate Disputes, reached out to Ansell Grimm & Aaron’s Cannabis Law Practice Chair, Joshua Bauchner , to participate in a special Q&A report titled, “Cannabis Regulation and the Litigation Landscape.” This report is available online and registration is free. Please click HERE to view the latest edition.

 

 

The Cannabis Law Practice Continues Training Through the National Business Institute on July 19

The National Business Institute (NBI) is hosting a speaker event titled, “Marijuana Business Law in New Jersey.” NBI is an organization dedicated to providing continuing education and learning for professional. Joshua Bauchner will cover the following topics: Application Procedures: Avoiding Mistakes Grounds for License Refusal, License Renewals, License Transfers, Appealing Application Denials. This will be presented as a LIVE Online Seminar. Please click HERE for registration information.

 

 

Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC Celebrates at New Jersey’s First- Ever Cannabis Industry Awards Gala

Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC attended the New Jersey Cannabis Insider Awards Gala as an “Excellence in Cannabis Law” nominee on June 9, 2022. The Cannabis Awards Gala marked New Jersey’s first-ever cannabis industry awards event. A few hundred thought-leaders and supporters gathered at the Carteret Performing Arts Center to recognize 24 businesses for their excellence in the Cannabis industry.

 

 

 

CWCBExpo: A B2B Tradeshow To Remember

Ansell Grimm & Aaron (AG&A), PC attended the CWCBExpo at the Javit’s Center during its 3-day cannabis industry event. New York is rapidly becoming one of the largest cannabis economic sectors. AG&A met with industry leaders and demonstrated our firm’s commitment to diverse and inclusive business practices.

 

 

Joshua S. Bauchner Speaks at The NORML Aspen Legal Seminar

 

The NORML Aspen Legal Seminar was held at the Gant Hotel from June 2 to June 4 in Colorado. Joshua Bauchner joined a cadre of presenters from across the nation who shared their insights on important issues in cannabis law in this fully accredited legal seminar. Timely topics included: The Admissibility of Digital Evidence, Social Equity in NY & NJ; Marijuana and Child Custody Issues; Attorney Fees In Criminal Cases; Overcoming Racial Bias When Representing a Black Defendant; Ethical Considerations in Representing the Cannabis Industry Client; The Future of Cannabis; and Annual Review of Important 4th Amendment Decisions.

 

NJSBA Cannabis Law Committee Co-Chairs Reappointed for 2022-2023 Term

 

The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) is instrumental in providing members with training and information. NJSBA announced its reappointment of Joshua Bauchner, Esq. and Lisa Gora, Esq. as the Co-Chairs of its Cannabis Law Committee. In their role as co-chairs, Josh and Lisa also moderated cannabis panels at the NJSBA Annual Convention in Atlantic City.

 

 

Athletes In Cannabis Conference Creates Community

The Athletes in Cannabis NY/NJ Regional Tradeshow was held on May 6 – 7, 2022 at the Hilton Newark Airport. Joshua Bauchner of Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC was the Keynote Speaker and gave a poignant “State of the Cannabis” speech on Friday morning. This 2-day event allowed individuals from growers to cannabis lending companies to interact with retired members of the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB. Those in attendance shared a passion for the industry and a commitment to building long-lasting and genuine connections.

David J. Byrne to Present at CAI Webinar on April 20

Posted on April 13th, 2022

David J. Byrne Esq., Chair of Ansell Grimm & Aaron’s Community Association Law Group, will be a featured presenter at the Community Associations Institute of New Jersey’s Wednesday, April 20th, Webinar.

The one-hour webinars focus on important issues affecting the rights, operations, and business of common interest communities.  Mr. Byrne’s presentation, on April 20th, will focus on the rights of — and strategies available to — community associations facing the demands of owners and/or residents who claim to be disabled, including those who seek accommodations with respect to animals characterized as service or emotional support

Registration is free and currently open for all CAI-NJ members via the CAI-NJ website. Community association managers will receive 1 CEU credit for attending.

April 2022 Newsletter

Posted on April 12th, 2022

Six Attorneys Named Super Lawyers

Ansell Grimm & Aaron is pleased to announce that six attorneys from the firm have been selected to the 2022 New Jersey Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.* Selected as Super Lawyers again this year are Allison Ansell, Mitchell J. Ansell, and Andrea B. White. Named as Rising Stars this year are Alfred M. Caso, Ashley V. Whitney, and Nicole D. Miller. This is Caso’s first selection, Whitney’s second, and Miller’s fourth consecutive selection as a Rising Star. Each year, no more than 5% of lawyers in the state are selected to the Super Lawyers list, and no more than 2.5% are selected to the Rising Stars list. The list of New Jerse Super Lawyers is based upon surveys of the more than 35,000 lawyers across the state who have been licensed to practice for five years or more.
*No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court.

 

Ansell Grimm & Aaron Welcomes Carol J. Truss

We are pleased to announce that Carol J. Truss has joined Ansell Grimm & Aaron’s Commercial Real Estate Department. Ms. Truss previously served as a partner at Gross, Truss & Herstik in Freehold, New Jersey. Ms. Truss’s primary focus is on real estate, including commercial acquisitions/dispositions and refinances, commercial leasing and commercial property management matters. She also handles the purchase and sale of small businesses and the general representation of such businesses. Ms. Truss is an active member of the Monmouth Bar Association (MBA), and has served in several leadership roles for the MBA, including President, Trustee, and Chair of the Real Estate and Land Development Committee. She is also a past Chair and Lifetime Member of the New Jersey State Bar Association Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section Board of Consultors.
“Carol is a great addition to the AGA Commercial Real Estate Department,” Managing Partner Michael V. Benedetto said. “She brings vast experience as a counselor, as well as tremendous respect from the Bench and Bar.”

 

Seth Rosenstein Defends Clients Targeted by Serial Plaintiffs

Seth Rosenstein of AGA’s Woodland Park and White Plains office had recently represented several businesses that were sued by serial Plaintiffs for purported violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related state and municipal statutes. As in nearly all of the cookie cutter Complaints filed by Plaintiffs’ counsel in the ADA actions,  Plaintiffs generally alleged that accessibility barriers prevented them from entering Defendants’ place of business and/or accessing the business’ website.  Leveraging the fact that ADA Plaintiffs expect to settle counsel-driven litigation before actively litigating in exchange for substantial payouts, Mr. Rosenstein aggressively pursued discovery and motion practice to take counsel to task, and successfully compelled settlements for a fraction of what ADA Plaintiffs’ counsel typically demand and collect.

 

Ansell Grimm & Aaron Continues to Build Commercial Litigation Group

We are pleased to announce the addition of Kelsey Barber as an associate with Ansell Grimm & Aaron’s commercial litigation group, where she will continue to focus her practice on a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Ms. Barber received her B.A. in Historical Studies from Stockton University with a minor in Philosophical and Religious Studies. She thereafter obtained her J.D. from Rutgers Law School, where she was an editor of the Rutgers Journal of Public Policy and spearheaded Youth Court, a pro bono youth organization dedicated to teaching legal and ethical youth adjudication for school disciplinary actions in Camden. Ms. Barber previously clerked with the Honorable Linda Grasso Jones, in the Monmouth County Courthouse, Civil Division, where she also acted as a court appointed mediator. After her clerkship, Ms. Barber went on to work in established plaintiff and defense oriented firms, litigating in the areas of catastrophic tort, products liability, contract, employment, and complex business litigation.

 

Ansell Grimm & Aaron Named as Finalist for Excellence in Cannabis Law

Ansell Grimm & Aaron has been voted among the Top 3 nominees for the NJ Cannabis Insider 2022 Business Awards in the Excellence in Cannabis Law category. On June 9, 2022, NJ Cannabis Insider will host New Jersey’s first-ever cannabis business awards gala at the Carteret Performing Arts Center where businesses, including Ansell Grimm & Aaron, will be recognized for their achievements in the fields of law, social equity, building, innovation, and consultancy.

 

Ansell Grimm & Aaron Speaks on the Mid-Atlantic Cannabis Industry

Joshua Bauchner, a Partner serving as both Co-Chair of the Litigation Department and head of the Cannabis Law Practice group, will be discussing the cannabis industry’s legal landscape at a series of upcoming events. On April 28, Mr. Bauchner will moderate the New Jersey State Bar Association’s 4th Annual Cannabis Symposium. You can find program details and register to attend in person here or via webcast here. Mr. Bauchner will be speaking at the Athletes in Cannabis NY/NJ Regional Tradeshow, which will be held May 6 – 7, 2022 at the Hilton Newark Airport. Tickets for the event can be found here. On May 19, Mr. Bauchner will moderate a panel on adult-use licenses during the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting at the Borgata in Atlantic City. You can register for the Meeting here. On June 3, Mr. Bauchner will be discussing social equity in the New Jersey and New York cannabis markets at the 2022 NORML Aspen Legal Seminar. The seminar will be held June 2 – 4, in Aspen, Colorado, and registration information can be found here. Mr. Bauchner will also discuss licensing and professional ethics in New Jersey at the National Business Institute’s Marijuana Business Law in New Jersey Seminar on June 19, 2022.

 

Cannabis Regulatory Commission Special Meeting

On Monday, April 11, 2022 the Cannabis Regulatory Meeting held a special meeting open to the public. At the meeting the Commission approved 34 conditional licenses for cultivators and manufacturers, bringing the number of approved conditional licenses to 100+. The Commission also considered expanded ATC certifications for 7 existing ATCs including, Acreage-CCF, Curaleaf, Columbia Care, Verano, Ascend Wellness, GTI, and TerrAscend. The ATCs will still need to complete an operational assessment for regulatory compliance and submit payment of their full expansion fees before they are authorized to begin adult-use sales. Recordings of all Cannabis Regulatory Commission public meetings can be found here.

Posted in News

Ansell Grimm & Aaron welcomes Carol J. Truss

Posted on April 4th, 2022

We are pleased to announce that Carol J. Truss has joined the firm.

“Carol is a great addition to the AGA Commercial Real Estate Department,” Ansell Grimm & Aaron PC Managing Partner Michael V. Benedetto said.   “She brings vast experience as a counselor, as well as tremendous respect from the Bench and Bar.”

Her practice is concentrated in the areas of real estate law, including commercial and residential title transfers and refinances, commercial leasing, and residential and commercial property management matters.  Ms. Truss also handles the purchase and sale of small businesses and the general representation of such businesses.

Ms. Truss is an active member of the Monmouth Bar Association (MBA), and has served in several leadership roles for the MBA, including President, Trustee, and Chair of the Real Estate and Land Development Committee.

Six Ansell Grimm & Aaron PC attorneys named Super Lawyers

Posted on April 1st, 2022

We are pleased to announce that six attorneys from the firm have been selected to the 2022 New Jersey Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.*

Selected as Super Lawyers again this year are Allison Ansell, Mitchell J.  Ansell, and Andrea B. White.

Named as Rising Stars this year are Alfred M. Caso,  Ashley V. Whitney, and Nicole D. Miller. This is Caso’s first selection, Whitney’s second, and Miller’s fourth consecutive selection as a Rising Star.

Each year, no more than 5% of lawyers in the state are selected to the Super Lawyers list, and no more than 2.5% are selected to the Rising Stars list.

The list of New Jersey Super Lawyers is based on surveys of more than 35,000 lawyers across the state who have been licensed to practice for five years or more.

 

*No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court.

Cannabis Law Update

Posted on March 23rd, 2022

Excellence in Cannabis Law – NJCannabis Insider 2022 Business Awards

After enduring two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, states have begun dropping their most stringent restrictions and in-person events are slowly returning to the cannabis industry. On June 9, 2022, NJ Cannabis Insider will host New Jersey’s first-ever cannabis business awards gala at the Carteret Performing Arts Center. Businesses including Ansell Grimm & Aaron, have been nominated for their achievements in the field of law, social equity, building, innovation, and consultancy. Voting is open until March 31 at 11:59PM, and votes can be submitted once per day, per email address. The ballot can be found here. Please consider voting for us!

 

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Social Equity in the Municipal Landscape

NJ Bankruptcy AttorneyJoshua Bauchner, a Partner serving as both Co-Chair of the Litigation Department and head of the Cannabis Law Practice group, was featured in a March 15, 2022 article for Law360 that discusses the challenges faced by social equity applicants as they navigate the patchwork of Municipal regulations across New Jersey. The article sheds light on how various aspects of the municipal approval process are incompatible with CREAMMA’s social equity goals and explores how the two might be brought into alignment. A copy of the article can be found here.

 

 

Athletes in Cannabis Regional Tradeshow

The Athletes in Cannabis NY/NJ Regional Tradeshow will be held May 6 – 7, 2022 at the Hilton Newark Airport. During this conference, there will be opportunities to meet with retired members of the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB, as well as growers, suppliers, retailers and more within t he hemp, medical, and adult-use cannabis spaces. There will also be an opportunity to hear from Ansell Grimm & Aaron’s very own, Joshua Bauchner. In addition to the two day conference, a networking soiree will be held at the end of the day on May 6th. Tickets for the event can be found here

 

 

 

4th Annual Cannabis Symposium

On April 28, 2022, the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Committee will host its 4th Annual Cannabis Symposium. The Program will be moderated by Joshua Bauchner of Ansell Grimm & Aaron and Michael Schaff of Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer. This will be an excellent opportunity to hear from industry leaders on all things legal within New Jersey’s cannabis industry. Topics will include capital markets, labor & employment, hemp, and social equity solutions amongst other things. You will also hear from Chairwoman Dianna Houenou and Chief Counsel Christopher Riggs of New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission. You can register to attend the symposium in person here or via webcast here

CBA Cannabis Law Section Appointments

Attorney Zachary Windham, of Ansell Grimm & Aaron’s Cannabis Law Practice group, will take on the role of Chair for the Colorado Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Section. The CBA’s Cannabis Law Section was one of the first in the country, as Colorado was and is a leader in the cannabis space nationally, both in terms of industry participants and regulatory developments.

 

 

 

 

Cannabis Regulatory Commission Public Meeting

On Thursday March 24, 2022 at 1:00PM, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission will hold a meeting open to the public. At the meeting the Commission will consider delegating authority for orders to recall or destroy adult-use cannabis items or medicinal cannabis items, as well as for certain applications for facility modifications. The Commission will also consider applications for an adult-use conditional license. On the medical side, the Commission will also consider reissuance of a 2019 RFA award for a medicinal dispensary permit and expanded ATC certifications. The link to attend the meeting can be found here. Attendees can register to speak before 9:00AM on March 24th here.

 

 

New York Cannabis Update

Posted on February 25th, 2022

New York Cannabis Retail Opt-out Window Expires

December 31, 2021 was the deadline for New York municipalities to opt-out of cannabis retail sales. In New York, municipalities were only permitted to opt-out of retail and consumption licenses, and citizens can overturn municipalities’ opt-out ordinances via ballot measure. Fewer than half of New York’s municipalities passed ordinances to opt-out prior to the December 31 deadline. A list of which municipalities have opted out and which have not can be found here.

 

Gifting Crackdown

The New York Office of Cannabis Management has begun sending cease-and-desist letters warning that conducting illegal sales could jeopardize one’s ability to obtain a license from the OCM in the future. The letters further warn that landlord’s hosting illegal activity on their premises may jeopardize their ability to house a licensed retail dispensary or on-sight consumption lounge in the future. Per the letters, “Illegal sales include the sale of cannabis products in-person at a retail location, online, via delivery, or at an event; and include so-called ‘gifting’ where consumers purchase non-cannabis items or services, such as membership in a club, and are then provided cannabis as part of the sale.” A copy of the enforcement letters can be found here.

 

Gov. Hochul Signs Conditional Cannabis Cultivation Bill

On Tuesday, February 22, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law S8084A with the intention of bolstering the adult-use supply chain in preparation of New York’s eventual adult-use industry. S8084A creates the Conditional Adult-use Cannabis Cultivator and Conditional Adult-use Cannabis Processor licenses. Eligibility requirements include having a hemp license from New York’s Department of Agriculture as of Dec. 31, 2021, having grown and harvested hemp for at least two of the past four years, and participating in an environmental sustainability program and social equity mentorship program. These conditional licenses will expire by 2024, so New York hemp businesses will still need to eventually apply for adult-use licenses with the New York Office of Cannabis Management. A copy of S8084A can be found here.  

NJ Medical Pot Hopefuls Say Agency Snubbed Court Ruling

Posted on February 23rd, 2022

Law360 recently reported on Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC’s challenge to the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s decisions on remand after the Commission’s initial decisions were reversed by the Appellate Division on November 25, 2020. Below is the article.


By Sarah Jarvis

Medical marijuana permit applicants have urged a New Jersey appellate court to direct the state’s cannabis regulators to award them licenses to operate facilities, arguing the agency failed to change a single score after an appellate panel remanded the matter over the state’s flawed scoring system.

In Wednesday filings with the Superior Court of New Jersey’s Appellate Division, applicant GGB New Jersey LLC said the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission doubled down on previous flawed scoring and didn’t adjust any scores after GGB and other applicants made “comprehensive supplemental submissions” challenging the commission’s scores and their scoring process. The CRC also ignored concerns previously raised by the appellate court about a substantial degree of relative error “by declaring the concept inapplicable to its selection process,” GGB said.

“The commission asserted that the scoring is what it says it is and, strikingly, is beyond judicial review,” GGB said. “The commission’s cursory review also focused on only two of the numerous scoring criteria challenged by appellants, and either rehashed the same arguments that had already been rejected by this court or ignored appellants’ other arguments.”

GGB and the other appellants are seeking an order directing the CRC to award them licenses to operate alternative treatment centers, or medical marijuana dispensaries. Alternatively, they want the matter remanded to the CRC with the appointment of a special master to conduct an investigation, per the company’s filings.

Counsel for GGB called the CRC’s ruling on remand ridiculous and said the company coordinated with other appellants to file nearly identical briefs, but it wasn’t immediately clear Friday which parties had also lodged filings.

The companies had alleged in their initial appeal that the scoring process was inconsistent and arbitrary. The applications were scored on a 1000-point scale by a panel of six unnamed officials from the Department of Health and two other state departments, according to court records.

The appealing companies that received their scores after they were rejected found that the scores were hard to parse, with some judges giving full marks in sections where another judge gave zero points. The numbers were averaged, and the total score determined where the applicant fell in the ranking, so the zeroes brought the scores down dramatically, the companies said.

Once a score was awarded, there was no opportunity to challenge it, according to the companies.

In November 2020, a panel from the Superior Court of New Jersey’s Appellate Division handed down its decision in eight combined appeals from companies that failed to make the cut for the six dispensary licenses the state awarded in 2018. The panel said there were serious problems with the way regulators scored the applications and sent officials back to reconsider the applications of rejected companies, but didn’t specifically tell regulators how to handle the applications after the remand or how to change the application process.

But GGB argued Wednesday that the CRC carried out “a superficial exercise seeking only to justify its own prior, flawed conclusions without actually abiding by the court’s instructions or addressing any of the appellants’ concerns.” Last month, the CRC issued new final agency decisions reaffirming the denials issued to the appellants in the 2018 decisions.

“Despite this court’s opinion and the supplemental submissions, the commission concluded that the process this court found unacceptable had been free from error,” GGB said. “As a result, the commission continues to deprive appellants of due process and neither the public nor this court can have confidence in the commission’s licensing process and the final agency decisions it has reached.”

GGB argued among other things that a recommendation report issued last month by the CRC lacks substantive analysis of the scoring issues the appellants had raised, including “wildly divergent scores and/or zero or low scores” the appellants said were unwarranted compared to the high marks successful applicants received.

“This court should not have to act again in this matter, but the commission has proven that it cannot — and will not — conduct a full and fair review of appellants’ applications,” GGB said. “The commission has proven by its own actions that a further remand will be futile because the agency apparently regards itself as beyond the jurisdiction of this court.”

A representative of the CRC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

GGB New Jersey LLC is represented by Joshua S. Bauchner and Rahool Patel of Ansell Grimm & Aaron PC.

Counsel information for the CRC and other applicants wasn’t immediately available Friday.

The case is In the Matter of Application of Medicinal Marijuana Alternative Treatment Center of GGB New Jersey LLC, case number A-2219-18T4, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.

–Editing by Dave Trumbore.