New Jersey’s cannabis advocates have united to form NJ CAN 2020, a campaign coalition that is not only supporting the state’s adult-use legalization ballot initiative this November, but also plans to lobby for social equity policies in the state’s adult-use marketplace if the measure is ultimately approved by voters.
The group includes members of New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform, which comprises the ACLU of New Jersey, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, Latino Action Network, American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp, Law Enforcement Action Partnership and the NAACP New Jersey State Conference, as well as industry partners such as the NJ CannaBusiness Association, political strategists and other industry leaders.
“The roots of this campaign go back many, many years,” Bill Caruso, an attorney with Archer & Greiner and a member of both New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform and NJ CAN 2020, told Cannabis Business Times.
The cannabis legalization movement in New Jersey was largely founded on a racial and social justice discussion that had not yet fully taken hold in the early days of legalized cannabis, he says.
“The arrests that were going on … had a negative impact on the economy, and [there was] the prospect of revenue that would be both directly related to cannabis shops and then ancillary economies that would come around that would benefit the region,” he says.
The NJ CAN 2020 campaign brings new life to the social equity conversation in the state ahead of renewed efforts to legalize.