The NJ CannaBusiness Association was started by Deveaux and his colleagues at Burton Trent Public Affairs based in Trenton, NJ following an information gathering trip to several western states that had previously legalized cannabis. “We decided that the industry in New Jersey would need a professional organization to lead its efforts,” Deveaux explained. “We co-created the NJ CannaBusiness Association whose main role is to actually start a responsible and sustainable cannabis industry in New Jersey.”
The NJCA operates in similar ways to a chamber of commerce, with members including accountants, attorneys, engineers, and insurance representatives. “It’s all of the ancillary businesses that will help make up the industry going forward.” Deveaux said.
On November 3rd, 2020, New Jersey voters approved a state constitutional amendment that legalized cannabis, which followed the 10-year-old medical cannabis program that currently operates in the state. The CannaBusiness Association will work to support a normalized industry that functions without “artificial barriers,” Deveaux noted. “Let the marketplace decide.”
Deveaux highlighted his support for promoting business opportunities within communities that have been disproportionately affected by the criminalization of cannabis, fostering small business growth as well as communication between industry leaders and local municipalities. “We want to go to Main Street before we go to Wall Street," Deveaux said. “We want small, local businesses to get established before we start talking about having large multi-state operating companies coming in and essentially creating a box store environment. It’s better for the economy if we support local small and mid-sized businesses.”