There were many years of advocates advocating, lobbyists lobbying and cannabis businesses doing everything but selling cannabis in New Jersey; a fix for one of the prime issues for cannabis on the federal level has been teased just as long.
But there was a victory at the end of all that waiting for cannabis industry proponents. An adult-use marijuana reform package was signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy in February, meaning New Jersey has a green light for a regulated cannabis market.
Yet, the years haven’t apparently provided enough time for federal-level leaders to resolve the other issue: the fact that marijuana is still categorized as an illegal substance and so restricted as an industry that banking institutions can get into.
The possibility of a solution before New Jersey’s industry gets off the ground appears unlikely, according to Bob Anderson, shareholder at Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper P.C. However much it has been talked about, the experts want to reiterate: This is going to be a problem for an industry that is promising big opportunities and big tax dollars.
“It has led to situations in which you have people walking out of these businesses with backpacks full of money each night,” Anderson said. “It’s very dangerous.”