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NJCRC Approves 7 NJ Dispensary Licenses & Clinical Registrant Permit Process

The NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJCRC) approved 7 New Jersey recreational adult use dispensary licenses and discussed NJ Clinical Registrant rules at a special June meeting.

NJ Dispensary License Conversion Winners

NJCRC Executive Director Jeff Brown explained the New Jersey cannabis licensing process. First, applicants are assigned a priority. Then their priority is reviewed for completeness and then scored. They are then reviewed for qualifications and limitations, including Financial and Management Agreement reviews. Criminal and financial background checks must then be completed. Then a final Quality Control review will be done. Finally, the NJCRC staff recommends them to the board for approval.

The following cannabis companies won New Jersey conditional conversion annual cannabis NJ dispensary licenses:

1 2378 Agri-Kind NJ LLC Cultivator Standard

2 2615 Hera Solutions LLC Manufacturer Microbusiness

3 2386 Agri-Kind NJ LLC Manufacturer Standard

4 2677 Xena NJ LLC (formerly Medusa) Retailer Standard

The NJCRC approved them 3-0-1, with Commissioner Charles Barker abstaining. Commissioner Maria Del Cid was absent.

NJ Annual Cannabis License Winners

The following cannabis companies won New Jersey annual cannabis licenses:

1 1216 Symphony Canna Brands, LLC Cultivator Standard

2 1222 Symphony Canna Brands, LLC Manufacturer Standard

3 1745 AACCTPro LLC Retailer Standard

Brown noted the review process for annual NJ dispensary licenses for cannabis was similar to conversions.

The NJCRC approved the first two annual licenses approved 4-0.

Then the NJCRC approved the dispensary AACCTPro LLC separately 3-0-1 with Commissioner Krista Nash recused.

NJ Clinical Registrant Permit Rules

Brown explained the NJ Clinical Registrants license was included in the Jake Honig Medical Act of 2019 law that expanded the New Jersey medical cannabis market.

It’s a type of Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) or New Jersey medical cannabis dispensary license permit that requires clinical research to be conducted to operate. He noted it requires a partnership with a medical center in New Jersey or other places under certain conditions.

Brown said Pennsylvania has a similar model that has done groundbreaking medical research on stress and anxiety in Alzheimer’s patients.

“This rule proposal will allow New Jersey to have similar types of places here,” he explained.

They will be working on finding new treatments for diseases.

Chief Counsel Christopher Riggs explained the NJ Clinical Registrants license would have its own license round.

“Clinical research is a huge focus for these types of businesses,” he noted.

He noted their motto of equity and safety would apply. Riggs said it would resemble the New Jersey Adult Use cannabis dispensaries round.

He explained the proposed rules will be available for the public to review on August 7th.

There will be a 60-day public comment period that closes on October 6th. The NJCRC will then consider the adoption of the proposed document that could incorporate comments that will be presented. Once approved by the NJCRC, they will be approved.

“We encore all stakeholders in the public to reach out and comment so we can get this right,” Riggs said.

The NJCRC approved 3-1, with Barker voting no.

New Jersey Cannabis Licensing Process

More than 2,000 New Jersey adult use cannabis license applications have been submitted by the NJCRC. Exactly 1301 New Jersey adult use cannabis license applications have been approved thus far. In addition, 422 applications are under review in the office of licensing. Overall, 315 New Jersey cannabis conditional conversion license applications have been submitted.

“We really saw that increase at the end of last year. That increase has continued,” Brown said.

He explained the process of why some New Jersey cannabis license applications might be delayed longer than the applicants expected.

“There is time after the investigation phase before they can get to the board level and ultimately be considered and approved. Our team is doing tremendous work to get these applications reviewed, processed, and brought to the board,” Brown argued. “We expect these numbers to grow particularly as we get to July.”

NJ Cannabis Sales Numbers

Brown announced New Jersey cannabis sales revenue numbers.

There were $474,407,516 in rec sales and $204,731,182 in medical sales for about $700 million.

“We continue to see recreational sales increase. They grew from $80 million in Q1 in 2022 to nearly $145 million in the first quarter of this year.

“The market continues to grow quarter over quarter. We still see sales in medical cannabis. We did see a significant drop in this last quarter. Previously they remained pretty strong,” Brown noted.

They were down $15 million.                    

“Nonetheless, the total market continues to grow,” he said. “We look forward to future growth here as we continue to see new businesses open up and uh serve the growing consumer base here in New Jersey.

Brown noted they collected $9.36 million in sales last year between the New Jersey adult-use market opening on April 22, 2022, and the end of the Fiscal Year on June 30, 2022.

The New Jersey adult use cannabis excise fee collected was $459,000, which he explained is set relatively low.

“Once there’s some trigger points that occur, it will be able to be raised,” Brown noted.

The fee increases when New Jersey recreational adult use cannabis prices decline.

He noted that their report on where to invest the money was sent to Governor Phil Murphy (D) and the legislature.

NJCRC Chair Dianna Houenou said the NJCRC’s July 18th meeting would be held at a new location versus the Civil Service building, where they have held hybrid meetings since last fall. However, she noted the new location has yet to be determined.

NJCRC Public Comment Period

During the Public Comment period, John Dockery of Simply Pure Downtown Trenton lamented he was not on the agenda. He noted he was a legacy operator for 20 years. Dockery has an agreement with Wanda James of Colorado and Tahir Johnson, who will operates Simply Pure Trenton based in Ewing.

He noted he was one of the first conditional licenses awarded.

“I’m giving back hope to my city,” Dockery said. “We deserve to be here like everyone else.”

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