The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission delayed the adult use market again last Thursday, citing lack of supply from current medical operators as one reason for the postponement.
According to one multi-state operator, that shouldn’t be the case.
In an exclusive statement provided to Grown In by the NJ CRC, the commission says it wants to make sure the MSO’s operating in the state have the ability to provide to both the current medical patients they assist, as well as the incoming adult use market.
In a corporate statement from Curaleaf, which operates three medical dispensaries in the state, sent to Grown In, the company claims they are prepared to serve existing and new clientele.
“Curaleaf has been actively planning its expansion for adult use since November 2020, when New Jersey voters overwhelmingly voted in support of legalizing cannabis,” the statement reads. “We have tripled our growing capacity in the state, and as a result have yielded enough product to both serve the existing medical market and the forthcoming adult use market.”
According to an NJ CRC’s statement provided to Grown In, Executive Director Jeff Brown outlined the CRC’s mission during Thursday’s meeting as “An effort to devote significant resources over the coming weeks to work within the medicinal cannabis industry to fix deficiencies in their expansion plans and will be conducting on-site assessments as part of that process”.
Edmund DeVeaux, President of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association, backed up the CRC, saying that while all MSO’s may not be as ready as Curaleaf, there is infrastructure that needs to be addressed to make sure medical card-holders are not left behind in the rush to legalize adult use.
“We all want to make sure we do it right,” said DeVeaux. “We want to make sure the patient community is absolutely not hampered by the expansion of the adult use market.
“It’s a real consideration. The initial retail facilities will be, in fact, dual adult use and medical facilities. There are questions about physical integrity and entrances and exits and parking. The CRC just wants to make sure they get it right.”
Those concerns also include aspects of the operation that aren’t primary issues to new applicants. Existing operators need to ensure they have the staffing, the registers, the counter-space and security to take on what DeVeaux estimates could triple their business.
“With that being said, if you are an [alternative treatment center] that has been doing this for a number of years, you probably have a level of confidence that is greater than the one-year-old CRC,” continued DeVeaux. “They were built with a certain design framework. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you had 100 patients a day and now you are going to get 400 visitors a day.
“Do you have the parking? If I’m a patient, do I now have to compete or are there separate entrances. Are we able to accomodate? I think it’s a fair question and something the CRC is obligated to inspect on behalf of the community. They have always said they want to put patients first.”
In further communication with Grown In, the CRC stated that they have never announced a date for market opening, despite speculation that Thursday’s meeting would have given the green light. The CRC says they are committed to open the market only when patients will be adequately prioritized.
The Commission did update their meeting agenda to include a previously unscheduled meeting on April 11, allowing speculation for an adult use start date to begin again.
Curaleaf will be ready at their three outlets. The company says they have over 10 tons of products stored in vaults ready to serve the adult use market
“We are 100 percent ready to serve the New Jersey market,” the Curaleaf corporate statement read.