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One year ago, the state of New Jersey launched its recreational marijuana sales. This was more than a year after voters approved a measure to legalize cannabis, which meant that consumers could finally buy edibles, vapes and marijuana legally at specific dispensaries.
This was just on paper, however. It actually took the government months to begin accepting and approving applications for cannabis retailers. At the moment, the state has 24 recreational dispensaries, all of which are run by multistate operators that had first received approval to sell medical marijuana.
The state has also awarded more than 1,200 conditional licenses to grow, manufacture and retail marijuana with roughly 100 yearly licenses also being awarded.
This doesn’t meet the expectations of many who thought more shops would be open by now and that there would be better access to capital. Despite this, significant strides have been made since the market’s inception.
For instance, more than $328 million in recreational marijuana products was sold from April 21, 2022, to December 31, 2022, with the state collecting more than $20 million in tax.
The state also focused on social equity through its CREAMM Act, which allows individuals in communities that were affected by the war on drugs to reap the benefits of marijuana legalization. It is also trying to prioritize women, minority and veteran-owned businesses, with roughly 70% of all licenses being awarded to businesses with diverse ownership.
New Jersey still has issues to fix, however, with the primary one being slow approvals for licenses.
One legislator is planning to introduce a measure that would assign the task of regulating the marijuana market to a state department. Sen. Vin Gopal acknowledged that the cannabis regulatory commission needed oversight and accountability, adding that the challenges arising needed to be dealt with.
Senate President Nicholas Scutari, who championed for cannabis legalization, added that the time had come to evaluate the work the commission had done. He then noted that he was focused on making the process less taxing for applicants. In addition to this, he revealed that proposals had been made to permit home growing of cannabis.
Dianna Houenou, chair of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission, highlighted that while she did sympathize with business owners, some issues, such as struggling to secure capital funding, applications missing documents, municipalities hostile to legal marijuana and supply chain issues, weren’t in the commission’s control.
Nearly 70% of towns in the state have chosen not to permit marijuana businesses to open within their borders.
When enterprises such as IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) eventually take their cannabis-based medicinal formulations successfully through the drug-development process and win FDA approval, no such restrictions will be imposed by different states or cities regarding where they can or cannot be sold to patients as long as the drugs are in conformity with federal medicine laws.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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