But Brown said he’s not seeing enough of the existing cannabis industry in the state using their advanced position -- already holding licenses and in full operation of cannabis production and distribution -- to help meet the inevitable wave of customers soon to come.
“One of the challenges is just the uneven readiness we see in the current medical industry,” he said. “We need to get the licensing going as quickly as possible to get competition in the industry … but those who have the privilege to be in the market already, and it is a huge privilege that they need to live up to, they really need to -- for lack of a better term -- get their asses in gear and get ready to sell adult-use cannabis while having enough supply and enough capacity to continue to serve the medical population. And we have not seen the action we would like to see there.”
Brown said it will take some time before the CRC has more guidance about the licensing process and how many licenses will be available in New Jersey. But he hopes the commission acts more as a referee than a gatekeeper for the industry. Because equity is a stated goal of the legislation, Brown feels the commission shouldn’t stand in the way of good applicants.
“If we want to get to where we want to be on equity then we need a licensing system where if somebody comes to us with a fully put together business plan … we don’t want to be the ones standing in the way of them opening up that business,” said Brown.