It will still be several months before New Jersey’s recreational marijuana industry gets off the ground
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission decided on Thursday that medical marijuana dispensaries cannot yet market to the public. But the commission also decided that some companies can now start working on cultivating cannabis.
Rumors that the sale of recreational marijuana could start soon in New Jersey were squashed with Thursday’s announcement.
“It is clear that we are not quite ready to open up the adult-use market in New Jersey,” said Commissioner Marina Del Cid-Kosso.
“Some work still needs to be done, some important work,” said CRC executive director Jeff Brown.
The decision was a disappointment to many who are looking forward to getting started in the recreational marijuana industry.
“There’s always going to be frustration when you desire something and you don’t get it,” says Edmund DeVeaux, head of the New Jersey Cannabusiness Association. “This is a brand-new industry.”
The New Jersey Cannabusiness Association is the marijuana chamber of commerce. DeVeaux pointed to the 68 applications for cannabis cultivation, processing and lab work that were approved at Thursday’s virtual meeting.
“There is a continual paperwork or paper trail, if you will, before we get to the actual planting of seeds. So all said, we're looking at another six months before we get actual seeds in the ground,” DeVeaux says.
“These are the first recreational licenses that the commission is going to issue. So with that, it is my humble pleasure to recommend this slate of applicants for approval to the Cannabis Regulatory Commission,” said Brown.
The commission began to accept licenses for retail sales of cannabis on March 15. They could be approved in the near future.
“They can purchase product from the current growers who are saying that they have excess and that will also be able to go to market,” says DeVeaux.
Gov. Phil Murphy reacted to the delay on News 12’s Ask Gov. Murphy program.
"The equity in making sure we have an industry that looks like our state, not just in words, but in action, a step tangibly in undoing the damage from the war on drugs…We want to get that right. We want to get that right more than any other state,” Murphy said. “I feel like this is a matter of weeks…I think they are very close."
Cannabis cultivation licenses will take about six months to get everything finalized before seeds can go in the ground and then three months for those seeds to grow and mature.
But DeVeaux says he believes recreational cannabis facilities will be open by then.