The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) recently notified the public, via press release, that they have approved the first 18 annual adult use cannabis business licenses. 10 of the 18 licenses resulted from the conversion of conditional licenses to annual licenses. The remaining eight new licenses were issued to five cultivators and three manufacturers. The Commission Chairwoman said she hopes to see the “businesses up and running as soon as possible.”
The CRC said they have now awarded 801 conditional licenses in the state after approving 297 conditional licenses in the past week. As well, the CRC extended the time allowed for conditional licensees to convert to an annual license and noted the Commission is raising the 2023 cultivator excise fee designated for the social equity program from $1.10 per ounce to $1.52 per ounce. The full release can be found here.
In other news, CRC Executive Director Jeff Brown fired a warning shot over Curaleaf’s bow, according to Cannabis Wire. While noting Curaleaf has “one of the highest inventories in the state” and is the “second lowest in medical pricing,” Brown offset the praise with a warning, saying the CRC “is dead serious about ensuring patient access and compliance with labor provisions.” He said the CRC will have a “very vigilant eye on Curaleaf,” thus suggesting the firm might have run afoul of access and labor rules. Other members of the CRC weighed in as well, with one member saying, “I’m not fully convinced Curaleaf has made good faith efforts as it relates to our labor provisions.”
CRC Chairwoman Dianna Houenou said she has “also become concerned about some of the actions of Curaleaf and its commitments to workers, to safety, and to public health and patients.” In fact, Houenou declined to vote for Curaleaf’s expansion approval, although the firm was ultimately granted permission to expand into Bordentown, just across the river from Pennsylvania, where adult use cannabis remains illegal.