Share Your Voice With the Cannabis Regulatory Commission

Thank you to ACLU-NJ for contributing much of the below. For examples of written testimony, please see NJPP’s testimony and NJHRC’s testimony. Please note that the below content is also available in a shareable googledoc

Help Needed! Share your voice with the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC).

The CRC is hosting three public meetings about how the cannabis Social Equity Excise Fee should be used. The meetings are on Wednesday, March 2; Wednesday, March 9; and Wednesday, March 16 from 7-9pm. People can testify virtually or by submitting a written testimony.
  • Any & all individuals are welcome to testify virtually with three minutes of speaking time (note: does not need to be the region where you live) AND/OR by submitting written testimony
  • Organizations are encouraged to submit one testimony per organization
  • If submitting written testimony, the deadline is March 18, 2022

What is the Social Equity Excise Fee?

In the cannabis legalization law signed last year, New Jersey took the historic step of dedicating 60 percent of revenue from the sales tax revenue on cannabis and 100 percent of revenue from an excise tax to community investment. BIG thank you to all of the community leaders and advocates who fought for these investments.   
  • 100 percent of the tax revenue dedicated to community investment (that is, 60 percent of total tax revenue) must be spent in “Impact Zones.” Learn more about Impact Zones and check to see if your community is located in one of these zones here
  • Revenue from the Social Equity Excise Fee will be prioritized for Impact Zones

Why is the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) holding public hearings?

The current Cannabis Regulatory Commission hearings are to discuss the second bucket of money – the 100 percent of revenue from the excise tax on community investment.

What is community investment?

There is currently no definition! That is where your voice, experiences, and advocacy come in. The CRC is holding public hearings to better understand what YOU want to see this money used for. The CRC will then make recommendations to the New Jersey Legislature. 

Sample Talking Points

Here’s what advocates and community leaders working closely on this issue recommend as broad talking points. These are suggestions for people who have asked for them. Ultimately, YOUR vision and perspective are what is important!

1. Transparency & participatory decision-making: It’s essential that the state create a transparent and truly participatory process for people to give input on how community reinvestment dollars are used. These hearings are an important first step, but we need more outreach and opportunities for input.

2. Not doubling down on the drug war: Strong call to action to not use this money to find law enforcement with this money. Law enforcement has and continues to receive significant funding, and money intended for educational support, economic development, legal services, social services and supports, harm reduction, and other needs should not be used to support police.

3. Investing in a harm reduction approach to drug use: If any excise fee revenue is used to fund drug prevention or treatment programs, then these programs should be rooted in a harm reduction approach to drug use. A harm reduction approach to drug use is evidence-based and centers the humanity and wellbeing of people who use drugs. When people have access to harm reduction.

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Harm reduction is essential. A harm reduction approach to drug use is the best strategy we have to end the overdose crisis, reduce risks associated with drug use, and affirm the dignity and bodily autonomy of every New Jerseyan.

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