The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission has approved seven medical marijuana businesses to sell legal weed to adults over 21 years old, reported Asbury Park Press. Thirteen dispensaries total have municipal approval from the state as of Monday.
The seven companies approved by the commission include Acreage Holdings, Ascend New Jersey, Columbia Care, Curaleaf, Green Thumb Industries, TerrAscend and Verano Holdings. Per Asbury Park Press, the companies operate several centers that grow, manufacture and sell medical marijuana and 11 satellite dispensaries across NJ.
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As part of the approval, the approved medical marijuana dispensaries must implement safeguards to assure patients aren’t missing out, including setting aside products, scheduling at least 14 “patient only” hours per week and patient-specific checkout lanes.
CRC Executive Director Jeff Brown said the seven medical marijuana operators “have demonstrated both by their own data and by the analysis we conducted that they can meet those safeguards, that they can assure that medical marijuana patients have the supply they need with some leftover for recreational cannabis consumers.
The CRC approved an additional 34 applications for adult-use cannabis cultivation and manufacturing, per the CRC website. They will also review applications and issue licenses based on equity and inclusion criteria. Equity applicants include people who have been previously convicted for marijuana charges or live in economically disadvantaged regions, reported APP. Their applications will be prioritized.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed marijuana legalization into law in 2021. Up to 87 percent of tax revenue from marijuana sales will go to towns with large populations and histories of marijuana possession arrests called “impact zones,” per APP. Reports say industry experts expect New Jersey’s cannabis industry to top $1 billion.
“Expansion into the adult-use market - with a substantial advantageous start ahead of new applicants – is a privilege that must not be taken lightly. We expect these ATCs to uphold their promises to patients and communities; and that recreational customers will be adequately served,” said Dianna Houenou, Chair of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission.