The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (“CRC”) has finally come into existence, and now, the hard work begins.
By way of background, the CRC was created by statute as part of New Jersey’s medical cannabis expansion law, though the full roster of commissioners was only recently appointed. The CRC will oversee both the medical and adult-use cannabis marketplace, and is tasked by New Jersey’s adult-use implementation law with creating the rules and regulations that will govern the structure and scope of the adult-use. Indeed, New Jersey’s adult use bill requires that the CRC spend the next six (6) months creating the rules and regulations for how the marketplace will be governed, and only at that point may the CRC begin soliciting adult-use cannabis licenses. And remember, because the CRC oversees both the medical and adult-use marketplaces, nothing prevents the CRC from utilizing the current medical market framework to solicit additional medical licenses in the interim.
And just as quickly as the CRC was formed, it almost immediately announced that it will be holding its first meeting this Monday, April 12, 2021 at 2 p.m., with an agenda framed as follows:
- Chair’s Remarks.
- Election of Vice Chair.
- Organization of the CRC and transfer of authority from the Department of Health.
- Annual Meeting Schedule.
- Executive Director’s Report.
- Plan of Organization.
- Adoption of Cannabis Regulatory Commission Logo.
- Resolution for Closed Section.
The CRC may discuss any of a host of different issues facing New Jersey’s cannabis marketplace, including, but not limited to, will the 2019 Request for Applications be discussed and/or decided upon in the CRC’s closed session. Indeed, twenty-four (24) medical cannabis licenses, inclusive of four (4) vertically integrated licenses, five (5) cultivation licenses, and fifteen (15) dispensary licenses are awaiting final award announcement and approval.
Additionally, who is likely to be the CRC’s vice chair? Remember, three of CRC Commissioners were appointed by Governor Murphy, with the remaining two appointed by the Senate President and Speaker of the General Assembly, respectively. Will the CRC opt to welcome into its leadership one of the non-Governor Murphy appointees (both the Chair and Executive Director of the CRC are Governor Murphy picks), such as, for instance, Sam Delgado, an individual with decades of experience in the private sector as a business executive.