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Etain Dispensary, a new cannabis store coming to Maplewood, was a topic of discussion at Wednesday’s Township Committee meeting.
Represented by attorney William Caruso, he advised that the company having a vertical license means they are approved to have Cultivation plus Manufacturing and Ta retail component. However, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission will not allow them to operate a retail outlet until they have meaningful production and manufacturing operating.
But MPX NJ’s “Be” hasn’t opened its doors off the Boardwalk as planned.
The company’s relationship with its investor iAnthus has soured, and some former leaders at MPX NJ are out. The two companies have argued over which has rights to build out the property and are wrestling now for control over the license. It’s one of only 12 the state has awarded.
As the property languishes, New Jersey’s 113,000 medical marijuana patients struggle to find affordable and accessible cannabis. Many have reported long lines and commutes only to encounter product shortages.
Simon Malinowski, managing attorney of cannabis-focused law firm Harris Bricken’s New York office, wrote in a blog post that the language of the bill makes it clear lawmakers wanted to discourage anti-competitive behaviors.
“The legislature’s motivation for prohibiting vertical integration is woven into the language of the MRTA: to provide industry newcomers – especially social and economic equity applicants — a better chance to thrive, while also preventing monopolies,” he wrote.
Exceptions to the Rule
As a new industry, cannabis is evolving fast. Try to jump into the market looking at the current opportunities, and you’re going to end up behind. On day one. Every industry needs innovators and market builders. But success in cannabis takes visionary skills, as well. Take for instance the race right now to become a multi-state operator (MSOs). In most instances, bigger is better. MSOs create a larger addressable market by having a presence in several marijuana-legal states. Yet, scale comes at a cost.
NEW JERSEY: Hot on the heels of Governor Phil Murphy’s May 2019 announcement that his administration would be moving forward with expansion of New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program (the “MMP”), the Department of Health (the “DOH”) published a new Request for Applications (the “RFA”) for new alternative treatment center (“ATC”) permits and endorsements on July 1, 2019.
A Florida appellate court ruled that the state’s medical cannabis licensing system is unconstitutional, setting the stage for greatly expanded business opportunities in one of the country’s fastest-growing markets.
Found unconstitutional were legislative measures that imposed license caps and vertical integration.
The most recent request for proposals by the New Jersey Department of Health‘s Division of Medicinal Marijuana portends not only an enhanced marketplace for both patients and providers, it exhibits the sophistication of Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration fulfilling its mission of creating a mature marijuana market in New Jersey.
The Legislature is fast-tracking a revised bill expanding the state’s medical marijuana program to Gov. Phil Murphy while the administration holds off on its own expansion plans in an effort to ease tensions over the move.
Assembly Bill and Senate Bill 20, which the lower house approved by 66-5 vote with 6 abstentions and the upper house approved in a 31-5 vote, retains many provisions of the original medical marijuana legislation.
When New Jersey’s hopes of legal recreational cannabis were , the state vowed to expand its medical marijuana program.