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NJ-CRC approves 91 New Jersey Adult Use Cannabis Licenses

The NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC) approved 91 conditional, conversion, annual, and expanded New Jersey adult use cannabis licenses.

Instead of being held in their usual location in Trenton, the meeting was held in the Casino Control Commission building in Atlantic City.

They’ll be back in Trenton at their next meeting in September, the same day as the NECANN cannabis conference again.

Cannabis License Approvals

NJCRC Executive Director Jeff Brown said they have approved 1,309 New Jersey cannabis license applications. Only 66 have not been reviewed for completeness. Unfortunately, 350 New Jersey adult use cannabis conditional conversion applications got cure letters meaning they need revisions.

The number of annual license applications that are Social Equity applications remains limited.

“We only received 24 Social Equity annual licenses,” he said.

Brown said 22 are in cure status, which means they need more paperwork. Social Equity applicants applied for more conditional licenses.

“We are seeing more conditionals submitting, which is good,” he explained.

Brown noted 330 conditional conversions have been submitted. About 287 are under review in compliance, and investigations could be approved at the next meeting in September.

Director of Diversity and Inclusion Wesley McWhite III said they are working on municipal cannabis initiatives.

“We want to continue to be a resource for individuals that need a cure,” he declared. “Me and my team of 2 are constantly calling our cure applicants.”

Unfortunately, applicants are not responding.

“The definition of Social Equity is either those that have specific types of cannabis convictions or live in Economic Disadvantaged Areas (EDAs),” McWhite explained. “Social Equity doesn’t mean minority.”

McWhite noted they need to have lived in an EDA for five of the last 10 years.

“People are submitting incomplete applications. It slows your time down,” he added.

McWhite compared it to the DMV, where extensive paperwork is needed to prove your identity.

“Please pick up the phone when the Office of Diversity and Inclusion is reaching out to you,” CRC Chair Dianna Houenou said.

Brown announced the New Jersey adult use cannabis license winners. He first explained they were thoroughly vetted and recommended for approval.

NJ Cannabis Conditional License Winners

1 1535 Agrovida LLC Retailer Micro

2 2955 Dragon Pit LLC Cultivator Micro

3 3252 Happy Kola Brands Cultivator Micro

4 1702 Hazlie Corri-Ahna Cultivator Micro

5 3066 Straight Gas Boys Cultivator Micro

6 2891 CannaLife LLC Cultivator Standard

7 2892 CannaLife LLC Manufacturer Standard

8 2890 CannaLife LLC Retailer Standard

9 3031 East Coast Double Dose LLC Retailer Standard

10 3049 Hometown Organics LLC Retailer Standard

11 3047 Juniper Lane NJ Corp Retailer Standard

12 3037 Cannabis City 137 LLC Retailer Micro

13 3013 Green Leevz Cultivator Micro

14 2996 Legally Bud LLC Manufacturer Micro

15 3007 RECLEAF, LLC Retailer Micro

16 3107 Bud City NJ LLC Retailer Standard

17 2991 Canna Supply LLC Retailer Standard

18 2758 Cannabis Cultivation & Distribution Cultivator Standard

19 2230 Chroma New Jersey LLC Retailer Standard

20 2932 Demeter’s Botanical Garden Retailer Standard

21 2967 Four80 Dispensary Retailer Standard

22 2977 Herb Healers Retailer Standard

23 3268 Herbal Wellness Farmacy Retailer Standard

24 3010 Highland Green Holdings LLC Cultivator Standard

25 2924 IceKream2 LLC Retailer Standard

26 3291 Pure Canna Xtract Manufacturer Standard

27 2988 Seaside Budds, LLC Retailer Standard

28 2865 Square Mile Botanicals, LLC Manufacturer Standard

29 3095 The Bud House, LLC Cultivator Standard

30 2976 Vidu Brothers Cannabis Inc. Retailer Standard

31 3014 WeedCraft, Inc. Manufacturer Standard

32 2292 Whoopfam LLC Retailer Standard

33 3054 BliZZY BAKD Retailer Standard

34 2927 HiBlend Cultivator Standard

35 2547 The Cannabis Collection Retailer Micro

36 2417 Twister Cannabis Manufacturer Micro

37 3016 MAKNJ Holdings Retailer Standard

38 2973 Shipwreck’d Labs LLC Manufacturer Standard

39 2982 SSmile High LLC Cultivator Standard

40 2983 SSmile High LLC Manufacturer Standard

The NJ-CRC approved them 4-0.

Commissioner Maria Del Cid is absent on maternity leave Houenou announced.

NJ Cannabis Conversion License Winners

Commissioner Krista Nash wanted to remove No. 2583 The Cannabis Clubhouse, LLC for micro retailer approval.

“We need to take a look at the application a little more,” she said.

Nash did not specify why.

“Staff does not object to this motion. We totally understand the concerns,” Brown said.

The NJ-CRC approved it 4-0.

The following won conversion annual licenses:

1 2766 Cana-Bosem, LLC Cultivator Standard

2 2751 Cana-Bosem, LLC Manufacturer Standard

3 2526 Pigment Cultivation Company LLC Cultivator Standard

4 2596 Pigment Manufacturing Company LLC Manufacturer Standard

5 2710 Simply Pure Downtown Trenton LLC Retailer Micro

6 2091 Terrapin Investment Fund II Cultivation, LLC Cultivator Standard

7 2793 Verdure Ventures LLC Cultivator Standard

8 2794 Verdure Ventures LLC Manufacturer Standard

9 2613 Zacate LLC Retailer Standard

10 2553 Cookies Harrison LLC Retailer Standard

11 2413 Dr. Green Leaf LLC Retailer Micro

12 2648 Grotech Farms, LLC Manufacturer Standard

13 2488 Honeybuzz Farms Retailer Standard

14 2623 J & J Flowers LLC Retailer Standard

15 2421 Joy Leaf NJ LLC Retailer Standard

16 2609 Liberty Flower Company Retailer Standard

17 2652 Little Leaf Labs, LLC Manufacturer Micro

More Winners

18 2557 Munsee Three Sisters Medicinal Farm Retailer Micro

19 2402 Natural Apothecary Retailer Standard

20 2644 Nightjar Holdings LLC Retailer Standard

21 2531 North Lake Supply LLC Cultivator Standard

22 2435 OHM Theory LLC Retailer Standard

23 2857 Parks Grove LLC Cultivator Micro

24 2638 Phula LLC Retailer Standard

26 2412 The Healing Side LLC Retailer Micro

27 2541 The Leaf Joint LLC Retailer Micro

28 2748 Tribe New Jersey LLC Cultivator Standard

29 2518 Wizzy’s NJ LLC Retailer Standard

30 2604 Blue Harvest LLC Cultivator Micro

31 2525 Fresh Cut Cannabis, Inc. Cultivator Standard

32 2439 Genesis TechnologiesII LLC Retailer Standard

33 2455 Queen City Remedies LLC Retailer Standard

34 2688 The Happy Farmer, LLC Cultivator Micro

35 2573 Fernway Garden State LLC Manufacturer Standard

The NJ-CRC approved them 4-0.

NJ Cannabis Annual License Winners

Brown said the annual licenses were also thoroughly reviewed.

1 1184 Elite Business Management Services, LLC Cultivator Standard

2 2372 Altoz Corporation Cultivator Standard

3 2216 Castaway Cannabis LLC Retailer Standard

4 1146 Green Bubble Farm LLC Cultivator Standard

5 1160 Green Bubble Farm LLC Manufacturer Standard

6 1270 Inclusion Gourmet LLC Manufacturer Micro

7 2597 Uforia LLC Retailer Micro

8 1110 Northeast Alternatives NJ LLC Cultivator Standard

9 1021 Northeast Alternatives NJ LLC Manufacturer Standard

10 2153 Woolwich Wellness Company, LLC Cultivator Micro

11 1199 CSDE Manufacturing LLC Manufacturer Standard

12 1377 Anka Field LLC Cultivator Standard

13 1385 Anka Field LLC Manufacturer Standard

14 1902 Evolve Cannabis LLC Retailer Standard

The NJ-CRC approved the first 14 3-1, with Commissioner Charles Barker voting no.

Houenou recused herself from voting on:

15 1341 Stone Hill Manufacturing LLC Cultivator Standard

16 1360 Stone Hill Manufacturing LLC Manufacturer Standard

“Please confirm the status of community agreements and the Social Equity initiatives before licensing issuance,” Barker asked.

Brown said they would report back on that.

The NJ-CRC approved them 3-0.

Next, number 17, 2047 Bridge City Collective Franklin Township Cannabis Dispensary LLC Retailer Standard, was up for a vote. Houenou returned, and Nash recused herself. The NJ-CRC then voted 2-1, with Barker voting no.

The resolution then failed by their rules.

Houenou sent it back to staff for further assessment and possible future vote.

Expansions to Adult Use Cannabis Sales

Brown explained that the companies needed municipal approval, sufficient supply, patient access plans, and social equity and safety plans.

The following were approved:

1 Aunt Mary’s Expansion Dispensary Standard in Flemington was first.

The NJ-CRC approved them 3-1, with Barker voting no.

Next was 2: Brute’s Roots Expansion Dispensary Standard in Egg Harbor Township.

The NJ-CRC approved them 3-1, with Barker voting no.

Next was 3 Design 710 Expansion Dispensary Standard in Atlantic City.

The NJ-CRC approved them 4-0.

4 URB’N Expansion Dispensary Standard in Newark was approved last for expansion.  

The NJ-CRC approved them 3-0-1, with Barker abstaining.

NJ Recreational Adult Use Cannabis License Renewals

Two annual New Jersey cannabis licenses were up for renewal:

1 Columbia Care Vineland Renewal Cultivation Standard was first.

Brown noted they had to show their compliance with the rules.

“With respect to the labor provisions, I’m not sure I’m satisfied with the information provided. I will be abstaining,” Nash said.

The NJ-CRC voted 2-1-1, with Barker voting no and Nash abstaining. The resolution did not pass.

Nash wanted conditions placed on them.

“I know they have an LPA. I would like an update from staff… as to what progress they’re making in terms of their Labor Peace Agreements, their negotiations with CBAs (Collective Bargaining Agreements),” she said.

Brown noted they could approve them with the condition that would be provided.

The NJ-CRC approved it 3-1, with Barker again voting no.

NJ Adult Use & Medical Cannabis Updates

Brown noted they issued about 6,000 Alternative Treatment Center cards for industry workers.

“The industry is growing,” he said.

He explained they have issued 141 cannabis business cards to employees at exclusively adult use cannabis companies.

They issued 40,000 medical cannabis cards for both new and old patients in the last year. There are only about 102,000 New medical cannabis patients. It is down from its peak of 135,000.

Over 5,300 caregivers are enrolled in the NJ medical cannabis program.

McWhite said they will be helping medical patients renew in person in Newark, Trenton, and Bridgeton in August.

Brown said they have a live phone number to speak to someone for an update on issues.

“Just want to thank you, Director McWhite. Medicinal numbers are decreasing. It is critical we get into communities and meet them where we are,” Barker said.

Houenou noted 96 conditional license extensions were recently granted.

She said the top 3 problems are real estate, town issues, and funding.

“All outside the commission’s control,” Houenou said.

Five hundred sixty-one extensions have been granted in total.

“Even for medical operators, this is a struggle too. We hope that with time and as municipalities continue to opt in… we hope to see those percentages decrease,” she declared.

Houenou noted there is a finite amount of time before a conditional license expires. If someone doesn’t reach out to their investigator and misses the deadline, they lose it.

Some cannabis companies thought it would be easier to flip them and gave up when they could not.

Ownership Change Questions

Brown said TerrAscend wanted to change the ownership of two of their adult use cannabis licenses which is not allowable.  

“Staff is recommending denial,” he noted.

“I don’t know how a business would operate to be in the same facility, the same shop as an entirely different entity and purport to not be using the same individuals. There are a whole host of practical implementation challenges. I’m a bit baffled by the request,” Houenou noted.

The NJ-CRC denied it 3-1, with Barker voting no.

Brown explained Verano wants to remove a holding company from their structure.

“The ownership would otherwise stay the same. Everyone involved has been properly vetted,” he noted.

The NJ-CRC approved it 4-0.

GTI Rise Satellite Cultivation Facility

Green Thumb Industries (GTI) Rise wanted a new satellite cultivation facility that is permissible under the law.

“It’s ready for permitting. We’ve inspected it,” Brown explained.

The satellite would be in Hackettstown in Warren County and begin medical cannabis only. They could apply to grow adult use cannabis in the future.

The NJ-CRC approved it 4-0.

Cannabis Company Name Changes

Brown said CSDE manufacturing wants to be called Discofries. J&J Flowers wants to be J&J Cannabis Dispensary. WR Wellness wants to be Bay Street Greenery

The NJ-CRC approved them 4-0.

Public Comment

Noted cannabis attorney Fruqan Mouzon commented on the Delivery, Wholesale, and Distribution license issues only going to Social Equity applicants for a year.

“Reconsider not allowing everyone to apply on day one,” he said. “Many Social Equity applicants are struggling. The problem is not the competition… or the CRC.”

He said the obstacles are real estate and town politics.

“Not letting everyone apply for a delivery license at the same time… does not help Social Equity licenses,” Mouzon added.

Roll up Life CEO Tiyahnn Bryant they are a technology company with delivery service software that has been preparing to secure a license for a while.

“It was all for naught, it seems,” he said. “I’m from the city of East Orange. Half of the city is an EDA. My building does not qualify for an EDA.”

“I didn’t go to jail. My older brother is in jail. We want to help some people but are hurting the industry as a whole,” Bryant added.

Claudia Post of ScarletEx explained she had a 20-year-plus background in logistics.

“Have you delivered a Schedule I narcotic? I operated companies up and down the East Coast. Anything that has to do with delivery I’ve done it,” she declared.

She said she uniquely has experience in cannabis and transportation.

Post said she wanted a distribution and delivery license.

“I’ve had hundreds of drivers on the road,” she exclaimed. “I want to spare people losing their license. I’m here to help people stay compliant.”

She wanted the licenses open to all priorities as well.

(Full disclosure Post’s firm ScarletEx has a commission deal with Heady NJ.)

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