New Jersey’s top cannabis regulator signaled that adult-use sales in the state are unlikely to begin next month, NJ.com reports. Jeff Brown, the executive director of the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) told NJ.com that there “is still a lot to be done” before sales can commence and that the February 22 self-imposed deadline “is not concrete,” adding that “there is no firm commitment” on when sales would begin.
Brown said that “one of the biggest deficiencies” regulators are seeing is the lack of municipal approval for cannabis industry operations. A report from last August found as many as half of New Jersey towns and cities had opted out of allowing cannabis businesses within their borders, and the following month regulators missed a statutory deadline to begin accepting industry applications.
Brown told NJ.com that the agency is “going to keep pushing to move as fast as we can” to launch legal sales to adults but “that requires approval and industry readiness, and the readiness is uneven.”
“That’s an issue, and supply continues to be issue. It’s the priority of the CRC to get recreational sales started as soon as we can, but we have to do it in a way that’s compliant with the law. We need the industry to get there.” — Brown to NJ.com
There is no way to enforce the February deadline and there is no penalty for missing it, the report says.
Patrik Jonsson, regional president of the northeast for Curaleaf, which already holds a medical cannabis license in the state, told NJ.com that the company could “do pretty much whatever the state wants” within 48 hours and begin selling to adults.
“We have product, the people, and the facilities,” he said in the report. “There are a few minor things we need to be clarified around the product. But we are very much ready for turning it on as soon as the state lets us.”
New Jersey Senate President Nicholas Scutari told NJ.com that he was “disappointed” that the CRC wouldn’t meet the February target but in remarks during a New Jersey CannaBusiness Association luncheon last month he said he knew the process is “complicated.”