An East Orange resident is expressing disappointment after finding out plans for a legal marijuana dispensary in her hometown would have to be put on hold. Precious Osagie-Erese’s application was denied municipal approval, a major barrier many other Black and brown cannabis businesses are facing across the state.
The latest film introduces Shayla Cabrera from Hudson County; she started a small community business called Tia Planta that focuses on horticulture and plant-based medicine. Cabrera now has bigger aspirations, as one of the only women in New Jersey with a license to grow cannabis. Representation in new industry is personal for Cabrera, whose father is still incarcerated for selling marijuana.
While most of the conversation around the new market for recreational cannabis in New Jersey has focused around the laws and regulations, there is an exciting group of entrepreneurs looking to make their marks on this nascent industry — and a host of new businesses that are expected to join the Hoboken + Jersey City scenes soon. Here in Hudson County, there are several local businessmen and women who see the new market as full of opportunities to own their own businesses, serve their community, and change the conversation around marijuana.
Getting a state license to sell recreational cannabis is only the beginning in NJ. Towns can play a crucial role in how well a business thrives -- or whether it opens its doors at all.
Instead of awarding several widely-anticipated licenses for recreational marijuana sales, New Jersey regulators kicked the cannabis license issue down the road again today. The Cannabis Regulatory Commission voted to table a motion that could have expanded adult-use licenses to eight major alternative treatment centers — or ATCs — that already offer medical marijuana. Regulators expressed concerns about producing enough recreational products and also jobs to people victimized by the war on drugs, and mostly about preserving patient safety for medicinal users.
The regulators tasked with launching New Jersey’s recreational marijuana market say they’re working to ensure multi-state operators and deep-pocketed out-of-towners don’t corner the cannabis market here.
Dianna Houenou chairs the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC), a state agency created to establish industry standards after voters gave lawmakers the go-ahead to legalize recreational weed last February.
Local plant shop owner Shayla Cabrera is hoping to be one of the first people to acquire a license to grow cannabis in Jersey City.
Cabrera, 33, said it feels like a natural for her to enter into the cannabis industry as she already has experience in agriculture. She hasn’t found a suitable site as a cultivation facility yet, but she already has generated interest from retailers.