It will be several more months before New Jersey’s recreational marijuana industry takes off

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission ruled on Thursday that medical marijuana dispensaries cannot yet market to the public. But the commission also decided that some companies can now start working on growing cannabis.

Rumors that the sale of recreational marijuana could soon begin in New Jersey were crushed with Thursday’s announcement.

“Clearly we are not quite ready to open up the adult market in New Jersey,” Commissioner Marina Del Cid-Kosso said.

“There is still work to be done, important work,” said CRC CEO Jeff Brown.

The decision was a disappointment for many looking forward to getting into the recreational marijuana industry.

“There will always be frustration when you want something and you don’t get it,” says Edmund DeVeaux, director of the New Jersey Cannabusiness Association. “It’s a whole new industry.”

The New Jersey Cannabusiness Association is the marijuana chamber of commerce. DeVeaux highlighted the 68 applications for cannabis cultivation, processing and lab work that were approved during Thursday’s virtual meeting.

“There is continuous paperwork or a paper trail, if you will, before we get to the actual planting of the seeds. So, all things considered, we’re looking at another six months before we get real seed in the ground,” says DeVeaux.

“These are the first recreational licenses the commission will issue. So with that, it is my humble pleasure to recommend this shortlist of candidates for approval by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission,” Brown said.

The commission began accepting licenses for the retail sale of cannabis on March 15. They may be approved in the near future.

“They can buy produce from current growers who say they have a surplus and will be able to go to market as well,” DeVeaux says.

Governor Phil Murphy has reacted to the Ask Gov show delay. Murphy of News 12.

“Fairness in making sure we have an industry that looks like our state, not just in words, but in action, a tangible step to undoing the damage of the War on Drugs… We want to make it right. We want to do this more than any other state,” Murphy said. “I feel like it’s a matter of weeks…I think they’re very close.”

Cannabis cultivation licenses will take about six months for everything to be finalized before the seeds can go into the ground, and then three months for those seeds to grow and mature.

But DeVeaux says he thinks recreational cannabis facilities will be open by then.

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