NEW JERSEY – The State of New Jersey is likely to miss its self-imposed February 22 target start date for the legal sale of recreational cannabis, NJ.com reports.
Cannabis Regulatory Commission director Jeff Brown says that the hold-up is due to a number of factors, including a lack of municipal buy-in.
“Feb. 22 is not a concrete date to open,” he told Cannabis Insider moments before a scheduled CRC meeting. “There is no firm commitment on timing of when recreational sales will begin.”
Indeed, the Feb. 22 start date is largely arbitrary. NJ S-21, the piece of legislation allowing the sale of cannabis products for recreational purposes within the state, was signed into law on Feb. 22, 2021. It allowed six months for the CRC to establish statewide rules and regulations for the industry, followed by a six-month buy-out period for municipalities that did not want to allow recreational marijuana sales in their jurisdictions. Feb. 22, 2022 is simply the earliest date for those two conditions to be met.
In addition to this lack of buy-in, Brown cited lack of available product as a stumbling block, saying “supply continues to be issue.”
This assertion was challenged by Patrik Jonsson, regional president of the northeast for Curaleaf, the state’s largest cannabis producer. Curaleaf operates grow facilities in Bellmawr and Winslow, with retail facilities in Bellmawr, Bordentown, and Edgewater Park.
“Give us 48 hours, and we can pretty much do whatever the state wants, and we’ll open,” he said. “We have product, the people and the facilities. There are a few minor things we need clarified around the product. But we are very much ready for turning it on as soon as the state lets us.”
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