From January 2020 to mid-April 2022, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) issued 54 citations to seven cannabis companies, Bloomberg News reports. The alleged violations included staff using fraudulent security access cards, to workers regularly failing to enter patient purchases into the medical cannabis registry.
Some of the companies that received the citations – including Verano Holdings Corp., Curaleaf Holdings Inc., and Ascend Wellness Holdings Inc. – still received approval to open retail dispensaries in the state.
In an email, Toni-Anne Blake, a spokeswoman for the CRC, told Bloomberg that all of the violations had been corrected.
“Our goal for issuing a violation is to correct the action that led to a violation.” — Blake via Bloomberg
Verano’s Zen Leaf, which has three dispensaries in the state, was cited 20 times by regulators, including selling cannabis to people who were not registered patients with the state and the use of “fraudulent security access cards,” according to CRC documents obtained by Bloomberg. In April 2021, an investigator ordered the destruction of 127 pounds of inventory at Verano because some “may have been swept up from the floor” and contaminated, the report says.
Verano spokeswoman Grace Bondy told Bloomberg that the company was “required to follow an unmatched level of regulation and compliance” and had resolved any violations cited by New Jersey regulators.
“We continue to regularly review all of our operating procedures and protocols to ensure we are following all applicable laws and regulations in the states in which we operate,” she said in the report.
In March 2021, a review of Ascend inventory found that 50 jars of cannabis, totaling about 6 ounces, were missing and hadn’t been reported immediately to law enforcement, as rules required, according to the documents outlined by Bloomberg. Regulators said the company would be in compliance if it submitted an explanation and a plan to prevent a recurrence.
On 10 occasions, Curaleaf was cited for alleged violations involving security, labeling, and mold.
In a statement, Curaleaf told Bloomberg that the citations demonstrate “that the legalized market is working in New Jersey.”
“We work quickly to remediate any issues and update our standard processes and procedures to achieve the highest level of service, quality, and trust that our patients and consumers deserve,” Curaleaf said in the statement. “Our business depends on it.”
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