Despite consistently making cannabis headlines, New Jersey has missed the deadline to launch its recreational market. February 22nd marked the deadline for the state to prepare for the coming market; however, industry professionals and legislators have both shared that they won’t be done in time. The New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association determined that cultivators and producers need at least six months to prepare for sales. Given the licensing deadline got pushed back from September to December, the state would be expecting the impossible.
“Not having a clear indication as to when that date will come, you’ll start having inventory issues, their stockpiling, employment issues, supply issues that all affect the launch of this market… The biggest thing that we need to do at this point is to have a regular ongoing communication with regulators and policymakers, so we can understand what is the time we are going to be permitted to begin the adult-use market.”–Shaya Brodchandel, President of New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association (NJCTA) and CEO of the Harmony Dispensary to TapInto
WHEN WILL CANNABIS BE LEGAL IN NEW JERSEY?
There’s no clear answer on New Jersey’s cannabis laws just yet. Another obstacle for the state is cannabis accessibility. Over 63% of the state has opted out of cannabis businesses opening in specific areas. So, not only are licenses being held up, they may be denied altogether. The consumption of cannabis has been legal in New Jersey since January of last year. Weed regulations and specifics on homegrown cannabis have further stalled things though.
“This is a new industry where people are misinformed and concerned about and the more we can do in this industry to educate our own communities the more we are going to be able to have this. I think everyone wants this to be a success. But having a starting point of what is required and when we can expect to launch is probably is the most challenging point at this time,”
More states are looking into the smaller moving parts of cannabis as they legalize. More than anything, unfortunately, it proves how much lawmakers don’t know about cannabis. This situation widens the grey area in laws that affect innocent people. The longer a state remains in the “legal-but not really legal” stage, the more problems crop up. In New Jersey’s case, let’s hope the wait doesn’t hinder them in the long run.