Five out-of-state cannabis corporations that are Multi-State Operators (MSOs), were fined $360,000 for selling adult-use cannabis during patient-only hours.
Curaleaf, GTI Rise, Verano Zen Leaf, Acreage’s the Botanist, and Ascend were all fined several thousand dollars. They operate most of the New Jersey medical and adult-use cannabis dispensaries currently open.
It was “to the detriment of the medicinal patient population,” NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJCRC) Executive Director Jeff Brown said in a letter dated May 13th obtained by Bloomberg News. It was a private letter that Bloomberg requested from the government.
The fines date from April 21st to April 29th of this year.
They were fined $10,000 a day for each day they broke the rule. According to Benzinga, Verano was fined $90,000 for nine days of breaking the rule. GTI and Ascend were fined $80,000. Acreage was fined $60,000, and Curaleaf was only fined $50,000
Ensuring patient-only hours was among the conditions the medical cannabis companies had to agree upon to sell cannabis.
Medical cannabis patient advocates were wary of the switch from medical cannabis only to adult-use sales for fear that patients would be ignored.
The NJCRC went to some lengths to ensure this would not happen by ensuring patient-only hours, exclusive patient products, and preferential patient parking.
These corporations that have been selling sub-par overpriced medical cannabis were very eager to enter the adult-use cannabis market despite contributing a negligible amount of money and effort to the 2020 adult-use cannabis legalization referendum campaign. Several of the MSOs mentioned above sought to get the public behind their desire to make more money selling adult-use cannabis.
Those who want more affordable cannabis in a market not dominated by a handful of large corporations from out of state were also not eager for the New Jersey adult-use cannabis market to open.