New Jersey Regulators Deny Curaleaf Cannabis License Renewal

New Jersey regulators this week declined to renew Curaleaf’s adult-use cannabis license, citing the recent closure of one of its cultivation facilities (and subsequent layoffs), as well as the company’s clash with unionization and an alleged lack of transparency.

Full story after the jump.

New Jersey cannabis regulators on Thursday declined to renew the license of Curaleaf to grow and sell cannabis for the state’s adult-use market, the New Jersey Monitor reports. Curaleaf is a multistate cannabis company and the biggest player in New Jersey’s cannabis industry.

With the denial, Curaleaf’s adult-use license expires on April 21; it’s unclear what the move means for the company’s medical cannabis patients.

The vote came a month after Curaleaf said it confirmed to state regulators that it was closing one of its cultivation facilities and laying off 40 employees. Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) members on Thursday cited the closure, Curaleaf’s clash with unionization, and the company’s lack of transparency as reasons for rejecting the license renewal.

CRC Chair Dianna Houenou said during Thursday’s meeting that “it’s important for the board to have staff at large to have proper insight and timely notice of major changes to facility operations.”

New Jersey’s adult-use cannabis law also requires licensees to maintain business peace agreements as a condition. The law requires collective bargaining within 200 days after a dispensary first opens if the majority of employees vote to form a union.

During the meeting, Commissioner Krista Nash noted that that provision “is an explicit mandate.”

“People have different definitions of what ‘maintain’ means. If you maintain your car, I don’t know if that means letting it sit in a garage. But it doesn’t mean, in this term, filing an agreement away in a drawer, but rather to implement the terms of what parties agreed to do.” — Nash via the Monitor

During the meeting, James Shorris, Curaleaf’s chief compliance officer, touted the company’s investments in the state, high sales to medical and adult-use consumers, and job creation with an emphasis on diversity. He also defended the closure of the Bellmawr cultivation site, citing changes in demand for flower and cost concerns.

Curaleaf has not responded publicly to the license denial.

The board did approve the annual licenses for other dispensaries run by Acreage, Rise, Terrascend, and Verano during the meeting.

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