New Jersey's Cannabis Regulatory Commission has had the somewhat unenviable task of overseeing the debut of recreational-use marijuana sales in the state, but after three months some areas of concern are emerging.
And there don't seem to be ready-made answers, according to Todd Polyniak, who leads the cannabis practice for Parsippany-based firm Sax, LLC and works with clients who have applied for recreational retail licenses.
Addressing social inequities in who owns and operates marijuana dispensaries, Polyniak said, is a problem not necessarily tied to the near 18-month delay between the marketplace being approved by voters in November 2020 and its April 2022 launch.
He believes such priorities should have been addressed from the start anyway, regardless of how long it took the industry to get off the ground.
"Even formulated in the regulations, there's nothing that gives social equity companies access to capital outside of their normal channels," Polyniak said. "The saying is 'it takes money to make money,' so that access to capital is critical."