Business Report: Newark business restrictions, projected marijuana revenues

Starting Oct. 27, Newark is imposing new restrictions on all non-essential businesses

As COVID-19 cases rise, Newark is imposing new restrictions on the city’s businesses. Starting Tuesday, all non-essential businesses must close at 8 p.m. Restaurants and bars will have to end indoor dining at the same time, but outdoor dining will be allowed until 11 p.m. Other Newark businesses, including beauty salons, nail salons and barbershops, will be open by appointment-only. Gyms face new requirements for cleaning.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is also discouraging all parties, indoor and outdoor festivals and large family gatherings until further notice. The new restrictions will remain in place until Nov. 10, when the city will determine its next steps.

Marijuana legalization is a big issue on the November ballot and part of the argument for legalization is that pot sales would provide some much-needed revenue for the state in a year. The Office of Legislative Services estimates marijuana sales could result in $125 million in added revenue for the state. But the state also cautions it will take awhile for the market to build up, and New Jersey could face competition from neighboring states which are also exploring legalization.