New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission holds its first meeting
After weeks of delays, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission held its first meeting on Monday.
The group met virtually and the commission’s chair said that it will take weeks to put together the rules and regulations for legal marijuana sales.
Executive Director Jeff Brown says that the group will “create a safe and equitable market for the production and sale of cannabis for adults over the age of 21.”
“Regulations are going to provide the framework for ultimately the permitting and licensing of new businesses,” Brown says.
The commission has six months to decide the rules, regulations and tax rates that will allow companies to grow, cultivate, warehouse and sell legal marijuana in the Garden State. They have a maximum of six months to do all that.
Edmund DeVeaux of the New Jersey Cannabusiness Association says that he was matching the meeting closely.
“People want to get to the business of cannabis. They want to open dispensaries, they want to open their grow facilities, they want to process,” he says.
Commissioners also addressed the legalization of marijuana as a tool for social justice. Seventy percent of the sales tax from marijuana, and all money collected from a separate excise tax, will go to help communities affected by the decadeslong War on Drugs.
“In the same way that the War on Drugs – also the War on People – created policies primarily targeted at Black and brown communities for their destruction, it is humbling to be in a position to create policies and regulations primarily focused on restoring these same communities,” says commission member Charles Barker.
The commission also takes over the management of New Jersey's already-existent medical marijuana program from the state Department of Health. That program already has 15 up-and-running marijuana dispensaries. A 16th medical dispensary will soon open.
“At any given time, you know, we have 20,000 pounds of cannabis and cannabis products in aggregate in inventories across the state,” says Brown.
The next commission meeting will be held virtually on April 22. Questions and comments from the public can be summitted at firstname.lastname@example.org.