New Jersey will not meet the February 22 statutory deadline to open its adult-use cannabis market, according to a TapInto report. The date was included in the state’s legalization law but the state’s top cannabis regulator indicated last month that officials were not on track to meet the deadline.
Shaya Brodchandel, president of New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association (NJCTA) and CEO of the Harmony Dispensary, told TapInto that while she believes the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) is “working diligently” to get the market online, “that deadline won’t be made at this point.”
“The biggest thing that we need to do at this point is have a regular ongoing communication with regulators and policymakers, so we can understand what is the time we are going to be permitted to begin the adult-use market.” – Brodchandel via TapInto
He added that cannabis cultivators and producers need about six months to get from seed to sale and expressed frustration with the lack of clarification from regulators.
“Not having a clear indication as to when that date will come, you’ll start having inventory issues, their stockpiling, employment issues, supply issues that all affect the launch of this market,” he said.
The legalization law had included a September deadline for license administrations; however, the state didn’t begin accepting industry license applications until December.
Brodchandel said that one of the major roadblocks to licensing dispensaries in the state is the 63% opt-out rate for New Jersey municipalities. Jeff Brown, the executive director of the CRC last month called the opt-out rate “one of the biggest deficiencies” facing regulators as they work on launching adult-use sales in the Garden State.
Brodchandel said, though, that the CRC licensing process does seem to be prioritizing licensing for social equity applicants, which “is going to benefit the communities tremendously.”
“Giving them opportunities for local business entrepreneurs who have been impacted by the war on drugs and now being able to benefit from this industry is really important,” he said.
In an interview with NJ.com last month, Brown called getting the sector launched “the priority” of the CRC but the agency has “to do it in a way that’s compliant with the law.”
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