Two of New Jersey’s biggest and most established cannabis operators are facing fines of $100,000 and $50,000 after the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) board members voted to issue steeper than recommended penalties for their violations.
CRC Chair Dianna Houenou
The motion to change the June decision passed 3-1, with Commissioner Charles Barker voting no. Barker, often the lone ‘no’ vote, defended the initial one-year timeline as a move that would have helped people most harmed by marijuana prohibition. He emphasized that New Jersey’s marijuana legalization law is “about righting the wrongs of the failed drug war, period, hard stop.”
Chairwoman Dianne Houenou argued Black and brown business owners would have been shut out if the commission retained the one-year priority period.
Officials from the Cannabis Regulatory Committee faced more than two hours of grilling from lawmakers Friday during their first hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in more than a year.
Legislators weren’t shy with their criticism. They accused the agency of pulling strings to reinstate the license of a major cannabis operator, being slow to approve applications, and holding the cannabis industry back with red tape.
A 9am Judiciary Committee Hearing on the state of cannabis in NJ drew hoards of spectators on a chilly rainy summer day. But things heated up quickly once the cannabis debate began. Here are some nuggets from today’s hearing
A year ago, ZenLeaf in Elizabeth was one of 13 dispensaries that officially opened for recreational marijuana sales in New Jersey. Since then, sales have been nonstop, according to general manager Sonny Achrekar. “We’re always get new people in and now that the weather is getting better, we’re going to get all the people flying in because we get all the airport traffic. So it’s just consistent,” he said.
Curaleaf can continue selling recreational cannabis at all of its New Jersey locations after the state’s cannabis regulators reversed a decision they made Thursday that would have sharply limited where the company can sell weed.
Pot lounges could soon be coming to New Jersey. Cannabis regulators have given approval to the idea, but it will be a while before anything like this can open for business.
Such public cannabis consumption areas are part of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s commitment to equity, justice and public health, says Chairwoman Dianna Houenou: “Equitable access to cannabis means everyone who wishes to consume has some place they can do that — legally, safely, and responsibly.”
New Jersey marijuana regulators approved rules for “public cannabis consumption areas” on Friday, bringing the state one step closer to providing the social use option to adults and patients.
Adult-use cannabis shops opened in April, but advocates have emphasized the need to implement regulations that give people additional spaces for where they can lawfully consume.
On Friday, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) moved closer to achieving that goal by approving requirements for the consumption sites and fees for businesses that operate them.