N.J. Admin. Code § 17:30-7.12

Current through Register Vol. 56, No. 9, May 6, 2024
Section 17:30-7.12 - Criminal history background check
(a) Each owner, principal, employee, or volunteer of a cannabis business or testing laboratory license applicant or license holder or staff member of a license applicant's or license holder's management services contractor shall provide written consent to submit to a criminal history background check pursuant to the Act and shall comply with procedures established by the Division of State Police pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:59 for obtaining readable fingerprint impressions.
1. The license applicant, or license holder, as applicable, shall bear the cost for the criminal history background check, including all costs of fingerprinting and administering and processing the check.
2. For a management services contractor, only staff members that participate in obtaining, possessing, securing, cultivating, manufacturing, transporting, selling, delivering, or destroying cannabis items on behalf of a license applicant or license holder shall be required to consent and comply with a criminal history record background check.
(b) A person who is required to undergo a criminal history background check pursuant to this section who refuses to consent to, or cooperate in, the securing of a check of criminal history and background information shall be deemed unqualified as a license applicant or license holder.
(c) Where the criminal history background information demonstrates that a person has been convicted of a disqualifying conviction pursuant to (d) below, the Commission shall find the person disqualified from holding a license and shall not approve the person for participation in a license applicant or license holder.
(d) A disqualifying conviction is a conviction:
1. Of an indictable offense under this State's law, or equivalent offense under Federal law or any other state's law, that is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties for which the license is required, which includes:
i. N.J.S.A. 2C:35-4.1.b (Booby traps in manufacturing or distribution facilities);
ii. N.J.S.A. 2C:35-6 (Employing a juvenile in a drug distribution scheme, or a similar indictable offense involving the use of a minor to dispense or distribute a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog);
iii. N.J.S.A. 2C:35-8 (Distribution to persons under age 18);
iv. N.J.S.A. 2C:35-11.1 (Counterfeit drugs, medical devices);
v. N.J.S.A. 2C:36-5 (Delivering drug paraphernalia to person under 18 years of age); or
vi. Any State, other state, or Federal offense involving fraud, deceit, or embezzlement as a necessary element of the offense; and
2. Where not more than five years have passed since the date of that conviction, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later.
(e) Notwithstanding the provisions at (c) above to the contrary, a person required to consent to a criminal history background check pursuant to (a) above shall not be disqualified on the basis of any disqualifying conviction disclosed by a criminal history record background check if the person has affirmatively demonstrated to the Commission clear and convincing evidence of rehabilitation. In determining whether clear and convincing evidence of rehabilitation exists, the Commission shall consider the following factors:
1. With respect to the license applicant or license holder, the nature and responsibility of the position that the person with a conviction would hold, has held, or currently holds;
2. The nature and seriousness of the crime or offense;
3. The circumstances under which the crime or offense occurred;
4. The date of the crime or offense;
5. The age of the person when the crime or offense was committed;
6. Whether the crime or offense was an isolated or repeated incident;
7. Any social conditions that may have contributed to the commission of the crime or offense; and
8. Any evidence of rehabilitation, including good conduct while incarcerated or in the community, counseling or psychiatric treatment received, acquisition of additional academic or vocational schooling, successful participation in correctional work-release programs, or the recommendation of those who have had the person under their supervision.
(f) Notwithstanding the provisions at (c) above to the contrary, the Commission may, in its discretion, offer provisional authority for a person to be an owner, principal, or employee of a cannabis business or testing laboratory license applicant or license holder for a period not to exceed three months if the person submits to the Commission a sworn statement attesting that the person has not been convicted of any disqualifying conviction.
1. Such person's provisional status does not guarantee a person's qualification.
2. Submission of a false attestation shall result in a determination of the person's disqualification, the revocation of the person's provisional status and any Cannabis Business Identification Card and may result in permanent ineligibility for the person to participate in a license applicant or license holder.
3. If a license applicant or license holder demonstrates a pattern of submission of such false attestations, the Commission may sanction the license applicant or license holder pursuant to N.J.A.C. 17:30-20, including with civil monetary penalties.
(g) In accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-1 et seq., and 52:14F-1 et seq., and the Uniform Administrative Procedures Rules, N.J.A.C. 1:1, any individual disqualified from owning, operating, or being employed by a cannabis business or testing laboratory license applicant or license holder shall be given an opportunity to challenge the accuracy of the disqualifying criminal history record prior to being permanently disqualified from participation.
1. Such challenges shall be made within 20 days of the disqualification.

N.J. Admin. Code § 17:30-7.12

Adopted by 53 N.J.R. 1583(a), effective 8/19/2021
Amended by 55 N.J.R. 402(a), effective 3/6/2023