New Jersey Cannabis Sales To Begin Soon As Panel Takes Historic Vote — For Real This Time

By Maureen Meehan

New Jersey’s long-awaited launch of its recreational cannabis market just got the green light. Regulators agreed that seven medical marijuana shops will be allowed to begin sales, possibly within weeks, after a series of disappointing setbacks and 17 months since cannabis was legalized at the ballot box in a referendum.

The five-member Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) had been under increasing political pressure to launch the state’s recreational cannabis market. On Monday, the board finally voted to permit seven of the state’s 10 medical cannabis companies to start sales.

New Jersey Gov: Extremely smart to legalize marijuana to offset coronavirus pandemic
Photo by Howard Kingsnorth/Getty Images

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Jeff Brown, the commission’s executive director, said at a special meeting that the medical marijuana companies, known as alternative treatment centers or ATCs, had presented convincing evidence that they were ready for recreational sales.

“Over the last year we hit many milestones and all strengthened us to getting to this point,” Brown said.“We do not see market-wide concerns with moving these ATCs forward.”

When the CRC met in late March and postponed and rejected eight applications from medical marijuana dispensaries, tempers flared and disappointment abounded.

The treatments centers, which are owned by multi-state operators, that have been given the green light include Acreage Holdings, Ascend Wellness, AYR Wellness, Columbia Care, Curaleaf, Green Thumb, TerrAscend and Verano Holdings, all of which have been eager to get sales started in the Garden State.

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The approved centers and their satellite shops will be the only facilities selling cannabis initially to both the medical and recreational market in the Garden State until smaller cultivators given conditional approval by the panel can get their operations moving, reported

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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