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NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission OKs 79 Cannabis Licenses

The NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJCRC) awarded 79 adult-use cannabis licenses and discussed some of their future plans.

They did so today, July 28th, Peruvian Independence Day.

“All these applications were found to be complete, scored sufficiently high. We have 79 applications approved for recommendation here,” NJCRC Executive Director Jeff Brown said.

He noted they are all Social Equity or Diversely Owned.

NJCRC Chair Dianna Houenou noted they were going to approve 81, but a few technical issues needed to be fixed, so only 79 cannabis licenses were reviewed and deemed worthy in time.

The winners are as follows:

Cannabis License Winners

As depicted, a range of cultivation, manufacturing, and adult-use cannabis dispensary licenses were approved. Many were micro-businesses which are supposed to help small businesspeople secure cannabis licenses.

They were approved 5-0.

“We’ve only had conditionals to approve as we are still working through the lion’s shares of applications,” Brown explained. “We do anticipate to get to under 90 days on conditional review and have for some.”

He noted that the annual process is longer since conditional license applications have a two-part process. Those doing well need to have their finances examined and their fingerprints documented. After winning both types, final approval is needed for both.

Brown said 1,182 applications had been submitted. Only 64 were not given priority review, and 284 applications were completely unread.

“I myself am reviewing applications when I can. We are devoting the resources needed to get through that initial rush,” he said. “If you haven’t heard yet, you will hear soon.”

There was one operational permit issued among the 44 medical license winners last year thus far.

“We are making tremendous progress on that front too,” Brown said.

The new cannabis industry rules are being published online on Monday, August 1st. Public comment on the rules also opens on Monday.

NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission OKs Adult-use Expansion

More medical cannabis dispensaries that are vertically integrated Multi-State Operators (MSOs) not based in New Jersey were approved for adult-use cannabis sales. Columbia Care had their second cultivation facility’s adult-use cannabis approved, and Verano Zen Leaf’s location in Neptune in Monmouth County was approved.

Columbia Care was approved 4-1.

“Expanded ATCs should be abiding by the reporting requirements. This is critical information to us. We strongly look forward to working with you to the equitable and adviser commitments that you shared in your expanded use applications,” Commissioner Charles Barker said.

Verano Zen Leaf was approved 3-2, with Barker and Commissioner Krista Nash against them.

Houenou said the September meeting would be in person. She did not note whether it would be a hybrid meeting or in-person only.

There is no Cannabis Regulatory Commission meeting scheduled for August.

She also said draft rules for consumption lounges and edibles are forthcoming, along with guidance on workforce impairment.

“That guidance is still under legal review. We know there is a tremendous amount of interest in these three areas,” Houenou said.

It was not clarified whether they would be among the rules revealed on Monday.

Medical Cannabis Company Moves and Names

Brown said that the medical license winner Circe Therapeutics wants to move from Pennsauken to Collingswood, both of which are in Camden County. In addition, Community Wellness Center wanted to move within Jersey City. Honey Grove South Corporation also wanted to move a location from Sicklerville in Camden County to Gloucester Twp. in Camden County.

Name changes were also approved. The Law Office of Juliana Diaz will be changed to Sweet Spot Dispensary LLC. Greenhouse Wellness of New Jersey will be changed to Brute’s Roots LLC. Community Wellness Center of New Jersey was renamed RIPT, and JG New Jersey will be renamed BLOC.

“They’ve met all the regulatory requirements,” Brown said.

It was approved 5-0.

Home Delivery of Medical Cannabis

“This is a proposed waiver of administrative code,” Houenou said.

The Jake Honig Act of 2019 officially allowed medical cannabis home delivery.

“It takes previous waivers… that were originally developed and issued in 2020… and streamlines and extends them in perpetuity. We propose to make this permanent,” Brown said.

They also wanted to reduce the cost of medical cannabis patient registration.

It was approved unanimously 5-0.

They also reduced the fee from $100 to $50 every two years. This waiver would further reduce the registration cost. Only seniors, veterans, and those on welfare are eligible for discounts.

“Consider um expanding the edible options for patients. We can surely consider a waiver for patients,” Barker.

He said it would help patients better consume their medicine.

However, Houenou explained it was not the time to do so.

The rule waiver passed 5-0.

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