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The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission had touted on Oct. 15 how diverse the businesses being awarded vertically integrated and medical cannabis licenses are.
Except most, if not all, of those minority license winners were white women. In the following days, applicants of color would go on to claim that they had not received accurate points for being “minority” applicants in the scoring and award process.
Al Harrington was one of those Black-owned businesses.
When Jamil Taylor, CEO of alternative treatment center licensee Justice Grown New Jersey, set up a medical cannabis facility in Pennsylvania, he would host events called Marijuana Mondays: events where community members could show up and ask any cannabis-related questions that came to mind.
The events attracted all sorts of people, he said, across age groups and areas of concern.
“You get a broad range,” he said.
Of the six businesses awarded new Alternative Treatment Centers by the Department of Health, Justice Grown is the least well known.
“We are the – I’m not going to say mom-and-pop – but we are the smaller guy playing in a very, very big market,” Justice Grown NJ CEO Jamil Taylor tells NJ Cannabis Media. “We were founded by social justice attorneys that believe that cannabis is a social justice issue. We feel diversity and inclusion are a very, very big piece of our business and our branding. Hence the term Justice Grown.”