The expectations for explosive growth in the cannabis sector, a fuse lit by Gov. Phil Murphy’s campaign promise to legalize marijuana in the Garden State, haven’t completely died out.
But, as the future of pot in New Jersey has gotten hazy after a few faltering efforts by lawmakers, those eager to pour investments into real estate and other assets in preparation for the industry’s boom are experiencing some burnout.
There’s one place, however, you don’t find many regrets about early investments into the green gold rush … and that’s at law firms.
For example, one of the earliest New Jersey law firms to plant resources in the cannabis sector was Sills Cummis & Gross. It was in early 2015 that the Newark firm announced it was launching a “Regulated Substances Practice” in preparation for more states introducing legalized medical and recreational cannabis, indicating as well that it expected New Jersey could do the same.
At the tail end of 2019, despite no recreational cannabis legalization in the Garden State, Max Crane, the firm’s managing partner, doesn’t think the firm started a minute too soon.
“We’ve been put on the map for the legal side of this sector by investing time and resources in it, and that’s invaluable,” he said. “Although the legislation in New Jersey hasn’t been passed yet, there’s still business happening. We’ve actually already seen a return on our investment.”