As New Jersey moves closer to an operational adult-use market for marijuana, advocates for medicinal weed wonder if the transition will start to squeeze out the patients who need cannabis for serious medical conditions.
But those on the supply side say that shouldn't be a concern — certain suppliers will have to certify that they have enough product to feed both markets, and there could be more rules in the future dictating a certain amount of product that must be set aside for those who need it most.
David Knowlton, chairman and CEO of Cannabis Education & Research Institute, said there's an economic interest to be in the recreational market, and there's only so much "grow" out there, since what's supplied here must be grown here. And, he said, the strain of a marijuana preferred by a recreational user may not be the strain that's needed by, for example, a cancer patient.
"Do we have enough product in New Jersey to allow folks to open recreational? We don't believe they do," Knowlton said.
Medical marijuana dispensaries that choose to shift some of their operation toward recreational sales will be required by the state to declare that they have enough product on hand to satisfy medicinal customers. Knowlton thinks that would be "impossible to enforce."