New Jersey’s marijuana businesses wait on word for when sales can begin

Sales of recreational marijuana are expected to begin in the coming days. Business owners are now preparing for what is expected to be a monumental day in New Jersey and in the legal cannabis industry.

News 12 Staff

Apr 14, 2022, 2:51 AM

Updated 793 days ago

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Sales of recreational marijuana are expected to begin in the coming days. Business owners are now preparing for what is expected to be a monumental day in New Jersey and in the legal cannabis industry.
Monday, April 18, has been tossed around as a possible start date for recreational sales. Businesses like Zen Leaf say that they are ready to start selling as soon as the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission gives the word.
The commission approved seven facilities for recreational sales earlier this week. These facilities were already selling medical marijuana. Zen Leaf opened its doors during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have made the adjustments to begin selling recreationally.
“We have expanded it significantly. We expanded the whole lobby and now we’re going to expand into next door to create a whole new waiting room for our patients and recreational people,” says Zen Leaf general manager Sonny Achrekar.
The decision to grant approvals to medical dispensaries comes with some controversy surrounding current applicants and small businesses. The regulatory intent was to launch New Jersey businesses.
“There’s been some criticism about the fact, yes, these are current license holders. These are multistate operators, but you have to start somewhere,” says Edmund DeVeaux, president of the New Jersey Cannabusiness Association.
Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) had criteria to meet before being approved, including certifying they had enough supply for medical and recreational consumers. They also had to submit a social equity and safety plan committing to improve equity within the industry and the communities they serve. One final hurdle, is an inspection.
“We have a team of inspectors and compliance personnel attorneys who are running through an operational checklist with the ATC…and making sure that they can be compliant with those,” says NJ-CRC Executive Director Jeff Brown.
The NJ-CRC says that ATCs must clearly designate adult-use only, and manufactured products must meet NJ-CRC guidelines. Once a facility completes the checklist, a recommendation is made to Brown, a license is issued and then the facility can pick its start date.


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