EDITOR’S NOTE: NJ Hashish Insider is co-hosting a Hashish Profession Truthful & Enterprise Expo on Nov. 17 at Stockton College. Tickets here.
New Jersey will start accepting functions to run authorized weed companies subsequent month, bringing the state nearer to opening dispensaries and promoting marijuana to the general public.
The Hashish Regulatory Fee on Tuesday introduced it will open the appliance course of to marijuana growers, processors and testing labs on Dec. 15. It can open functions for dispensaries on March 15.
There are not any deadlines to file functions. The fee will settle for them on a rolling foundation. Solely cultivation licenses have a cap: 37 new licenses may be issued between Feb. 2021 and Feb. 2023.
The authorized hashish regulation set a deadline in September for the fee to start licensing new companies. However regulators didn’t meet it, and as an alternative introduced they’d adopted a system to assist course of the functions when the time got here.
The hashish legalization regulation mandates authorized gross sales start by mid-February, or six months after the fee adopted its initial rules. However with out new companies, it’s unlikely the state will set a begin date for gross sales by then.
New Jersey at present has solely medical marijuana dispensaries and growers. They’ll get the primary shot at promoting to the general public as soon as they certify they’ve sufficient hashish to fulfill affected person and public demand and pay charges to develop their licenses to the leisure market.
However these dispensaries say they may start selling to the public now, and that they’ve an extra quantity of hashish stocked up.
Final month, the fee awarded 14 new licenses for the medical marijuana market. They must function as medical-only companies for one 12 months earlier than making use of to develop and promote marijuana to the leisure market, too.
New medical dispensaries are nonetheless awaiting licenses, too. Jeff Brown, the fee’s government director, mentioned all scores for dispensaries have been submitted, however they have to nonetheless be compiled by the fee earlier than the licenses are awarded.
“We are attempting to maneuver these as shortly as we probably can,” he mentioned.
The state can even license authorized marijuana supply companies, distributors and wholesalers at a later date. It has but to undertake guidelines that can information these kinds of licenses.
Candidates will obtain precedence overview if they’re women-, veteran- or minority-owned companies, or if they arrive from individuals who have been arrested for marijuana or reside in municipalities with disproportionate charges of marijuana arrests or are economically deprived. Microbusinesses, or these with 10 workers or fewer, can even be prioritized.
Brown mentioned functions might be made out there on the web site, and the fee will maintain an informational webinar on Nov. 30 for individuals who wish to apply for licenses.
Regulators additionally heard touch upon labeling. Consultants mentioned officers ought to undertake a label that may be a conventional form and sort of picture to warn a shopper that the product comprises THC, the energetic ingredient in marijuana that produces a excessive feeling. However they mentioned it mustn’t embody phrases, which might be troublesome for customers who can not learn or who don’t communicate English.
Additionally they invited testimony on edibles. The fee didn’t roll out rules for marijuana edibles in its preliminary guidelines as a result of they require extra detailed steering for meals preparation.
However edibles are a well-liked type of consumption, significantly for sufferers who might not wish to smoke.
Advocates have known as for expanded entry to edibles.
“Any type of edibles ought to be permitted, so long as the regulatory procedures are adopted,” mentioned Ken Wolski, co-founder of Coalition for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey. “Something a affected person wants ought to be out there to them.”