Tag Archives: CRC

One Month In: New Jersey Market Starts Growing

By Cannabis Industry Journal Staff
No Comments

Just over a month ago, a handful of dispensaries in New Jersey began selling cannabis to adults over the age of 21. The state issued licenses for adult use sales to seven alternative treatment centers (ATCs), otherwise known as medical cannabis businesses already established in the state. In total, thirteen dispensaries in the state started selling cannabis to adults over 21.

The seven companies awarded adult use licenses were Ascend, Curaleaf, GTI, Acreage, Verano, Columbia Care and TerrAscend. The state’s roll out created a lot of controversy over allowing already established, larger medical cannabis businesses and multi state operators to begin adult use sales before smaller businesses and social equity applicants get licensed.

Sales totals in the first month of New Jersey’s adult use market

Earlier this week, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) held a public meeting where regulators discussed progress, sales totals so far, conditional license applications and more. According to the meeting notes, between April 21 and May 21, retailers in New Jersey did $24,201,875 in cannabis sales with 212,433 transactions. During the meeting, regulators considered 46 conditional license applications and four testing lab license applications.

According to NJ.com, six new dispensaries were awarded licenses to begin adult use sales. Of the six new retail locations, Curaleaf opened their Edgewater location to adult use customers and Ayr Wellness received approval to begin adult use sales at all three of their medical locations in Eatontown, Union and Woodbridge. Ascend and TerrAscend also received approval to begin adult use sales act their locations in Montclair and Lodi, respectively.

About two weeks ago, the CRC testified before the state’s Senate Judiciary Meeting to share progress on the legal cannabis market, just over a year after the CRC was established. Jeff Brown, executive director of the CRC, discussed the agency’s goals and some challenges ahead of them. Brown says the CRC will be focusing on additional rules for adult use, modernizing the medical rules, enforcing regulatory compliance and information sharing in the near future. He also mentioned a couple challenges the industry is currently facing that they wish to address, including: expanding access to capital for entrepreneurs , removing impediments to finding real estate, educating municipalities to open up opportunities for applicants and ensuring medicinal cannabis access is unimpeded by recreational sales.CIJ will be hosting the Cannabis Quality Conference & Expo in New Jersey, October 17-19, 2022. Find more information here

“We have made great strides in all of these efforts, and when we look at how New Jersey compares against other states, we fair pretty well,” Brown told lawmakers. “Beginning recreational sales on 4/21/22 was an important milestone. But it doesn’t mark the end of the process, it marks an important step in a multi-year effort to establish New Jersey as the premier cannabis market on the East Coast.”

New Jersey Launches Adult Use Sales

By Cannabis Industry Journal Staff
No Comments

On Thursday, April 21, a handful of dispensaries in New Jersey begin selling cannabis to adults over the age of 21. The state has so far issued licenses for adult use sales to seven alternative treatment centers (ATCs), otherwise known as medical cannabis businesses already established in the state. In total, thirteen dispensaries in the state can sell cannabis to adults over 21.

The Capitol in Trenton, New Jersey

The reason why adult use sales could not start on April 20 is because of “unmanageable logistical challenges for patients and other buyers, surrounding communities, and for municipalities,” Toni-Anne Blake, communications director for the New Jersey (CRC) told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Regulators and industry representatives agreed it was not feasible.”

The seven ATCs awarded adult use licenses are Ascend, Curaleaf, GTI, Acreage, Verano, Columbia Care and TerrAscend. The state’s roll out created a lot of controversy over allowing already established, larger medical cannabis businesses and multi state operators to begin adult use sales before smaller businesses and social equity applicants get licensed.

According to The New York Times, the CRC gave condition approval to 102 companies for cultivation and manufacturing, but they need local approval and real estate before commencing operations. Another 320 organizations have applied for licenses for the New Jersey adult use cannabis market, but could wait up to a year or more before they begin operating.

Regulators in New Jersey say the seven companies commencing sales will need to follow social equity rules, including providing technical knowledge to social equity applicants. “We remain committed to social equity,” says CRC Chair Dianna Houenou. “We promised to build this market on the pillars of social equity and safety. Ultimately, we hope to see businesses and a workforce that reflect the diversity of the state, and local communities that are positively impacted by this new and growing industry.”

Jeff Brown, executive director of the CRC, says they anticipate long lines and crowds. “We expect 13 locations for the entire state will make for extremely busy stores,” said Jeff Brown, executive director of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. “The dispensaries have assured us that they are ready to meet the demand without disrupting patient access, and with minimal impact on the surrounding communities, but patience will be key to a good opening day.”

Adults in New Jersey can purchase up to one ounce of flower, up to five grams of concentrates or up to ten 100mg packages of edibles. Click here for a list of the locations opening their doors for business.

New Jersey Adult Use Program Likely Delayed

Back in November of 2020, voters in New Jersey overwhelmingly approved Question 1, the ballot measure to legalize cannabis. On February 22, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed three bills into law, laying out the framework for how the state would move forward with legalized adult use cannabis.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy

The legislation became law once the Governor signed the bills, tasking a five-member Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) with developing regulations for the market by June of 2021. The CRC set a deadline of February 22, 2022, six months after the regulations have been established, for when they wanted to officially launch the adult use cannabis program and commence sales.

It looks as though the Garden State is not quite ready to meet that deadline. According to NJ.com, the setback is due to a couple issues, namely municipalities dragging their feet and worries about a weak supply chain. Before a CRC meeting kicks off today, Jeff Brown, executive director of the CRC, told NJ Cannabis Insider that they still have work to do before they can give the green light. “Feb. 22 is not a concrete date to open,” says Brown. “There is no firm commitment on timing of when recreational sales will begin.”

Among the issues that are causing these delays is local approval. Municipalities need to first approve and adopt the cannabis rules before allowing businesses to open. “One of the biggest deficiencies we’re seeing is a lack of municipal approval,” Brown told NJ Cannabis Insider. “That’s an issue, and supply continues to be issue. It’s the priority of the CRC to get recreational sales started as soon as we can, but we have to do it in a way that’s compliant with the law. We need the industry to get there.”

As Brown noted, the CRC also thinks they need to make sure there is adequate supply before the state opens the market. However, businesses appear to be ready and chomping at the bit to get started with the adult use program. Patrik Jonsson, regional president of the northeast for Curaleaf says they have been ready. “Give us 48 hours, and we can pretty much do whatever the state wants, and we’ll open,” says Jonsson. “We have product, the people and the facilities. There are a few minor things we need clarified around the product. But we are very much ready for turning it on as soon as the state lets us.” Curaleaf is the biggest cannabis company in New Jersey and has two cultivation facilities and three retail locations across the state.

While the February 22 deadline is still in place, questions still linger about when exactly the state will be ready to launch its adult use cannabis program and commence sales.