The cannabis industry in New Jersey is anticipated to rapidly expand with the passage of the personal use cannabis law in 2021, allowing for a massive increase in the cultivation and production of cannabis. Other states and countries have been addressing the effects of the increase in cannabis cultivation and production for decades. New Jersey has the benefit of evaluating other jurisdictions’ issues resulting from legalizing cannabis for personal use. Since this is a new industry for New Jersey, as it was for California, Colorado, Maine, and many others, there are going to be some “growing pains.”
Specifically, there are several environmental impacts that will need to be addressed by the companies who are growing and processing, as well as the governments who are overseeing this new industry across the United States. At a time when both the federal government and the current administration in New Jersey are highlighting energy and climate issues, including water deficits, cannabis impacts must be considered and addressed when commencing a new business. Water usage, energy usage, and disposal of cannabis waste continue to be highlighted for their impacts and could lead to more, extensive regulation of the industry, especially in a state like New Jersey.