On any other day, the state's fledgling cannabis industry would be celebrating.
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission on Thursday unanimously awarded the first 68 conditional licenses to adult use cannabis cultivators and manufacturers. The licenses, which include 50 cultivators and 18 manufacturers, were heralded by commissioners as a historic moment in the state's history.
Commissioner Charles Barker called on people from marginalized backgrounds, "especially the brothers and sisters and communities who have been impacted and devastated by the war on drugs," to apply for licenses.
"We need you to come hungry and ready ... to step up and take your rightful seat at the table," Barker said. "The time is now."