Local Ordinance

New Jersey: Trenton Adopts Medical Marijuana Ordinance That Can Revitalize City

The City of Trenton adopted a marijuana ordinance at its recent meeting on October 18, 2018. The ordinance covers the operations of manufacturers, growers, processors, distributors and retail stores. Trenton will not limit the number of marijuana businesses that can operate within the “Plan Area.” The influx of license fees that range from $5,000 to $15,0000 a year, along with incentives to promote hiring local businesses, may help to revitalize the city. Trenton has also added a local equity provision, which lowers the fees for applicants who give back to community through local hiring and minority businesses.

The ordinance provides the time, place and manner that marijuana establishments may conduct their businesses. Below are some highlights:

  • Operating hours are 7:00 am to 11:00 pm

  • Fees:

    • Dispensary: $5,000

    • Cultivation, per location: $10,000

    • Manufacturing and Processing, per location: $10,000

    • Wholesale and Distribution, per location: $10,000

    • Vertically Integrated Business, $15,000

  • Local Equity Provisions lowers the license fees by the following amounts if the marijuana business can demonstrate that it falls in one or more categories:

    • Minority Business Enterprise: 25%

    • Women’s Business Enterprise Certification: 25%

    • 1/3 Employees are Local Trenton Residents; 25%

    • Service Contract Provided to Local Trenton Businesses: 25%

    • Fees will be waived for any business that fulfills 3 out of the 4 categories

  • Facilities open to the public must have one certified security guard

  • Growers and processors must use ventilations systems to prevent odors from being detected outside of the building

  • Growers, processors and manufacturers must use noise mitigation techniques to minimize noice disturbances

  • Marijuana establishments must provide police with video surveillance footage immediately upon request

Please contact us if you have questions about the application process for the City of Trenton.


East Lansing, Michigan, the home of Michigan State University, has scheduled a public meeting on October 16, 2018 to consider Ordinance No. 1416a, which would authorize the opening of medical marijuana dispensaries.  The ordinance requires prospective applicants to submit a special use application for the real estate location.  The dispensary may not be a residential structure, and must be, among other things, at least 1,000 feet from any school or licensed child care facility, day care facility, or after school program.   Indoor cultivation facilities must include filtration systems that prevent odors from emanating outside the building.

On its face, East Lansing's ordinance is significantly less restrictive than the ordinance recently adopted by Grand Rapids, Michigan in July.  Grand Rapid's 1,000 foot minimum distancing regulation includes, in addition to school facilities, publicly owned parks and playgrounds, churches and places of worship, substance abuse centers and residential zones.  Also, Grand Rapids requires applicants to be pre-qualified by the State of Michigan prior to submitting an application.  The application must also include evidence of insurance, a site plan, a sign and lighting plan, a safety plan, and an operations and management plan, among others. 

Obtaining approval to open a medical dispensary in an opt-in city is growing increasingly important as polls continue to show that Michigan may vote to approve recreational marijuana in November.