Dianna Houenou has a vision for New Jersey’s forthcoming cannabis industry.
Houenou, a senior policy advisor and associate counsel for Governor Phil Murphy, is the incoming chair of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. She foresees an industry “that embodies both equity and integrity.” Further, she says, “I hope to instill in the commission a culture of doing work through an equity lens and encouraging social responsibility among business owners and operators. ”
In November, New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved legalizing recreational use of marijuana by adults. In late February, Governor Murphy signed three bills related to the legalization and decriminalization of adult-use cannabis, officially making New Jersey the 13th state to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
In addition to setting the rules and regulations for the state’s regulated cannabis industry, the commission must create an application process for prospective businesses and publicize application requirements. The commission will have to decide which products are permitted in New Jersey and how products are tested. It will also oversee the medical marijuana program currently run by the Department of Health.