New York and New Jersey cannabis regulators spar on twitter over which state’s legalization plan is better

New York and New Jersey cannabis regulators briefly sparred on Twitter on Tuesday over which state took a better approach to launching its adult-use cannabis market. But after suggesting that New Jersey put profits ahead of equity, New York officials deleted their post. New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC) threw the first punch, sharing an article about the first (and, so far, only) recreational cannabis shop to open in neighboring New York last week.

The New York Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) was quick to hit back, defending its more gradual rollout as a deliberate strategy to ensure that the state’s market puts equity first with businesses operated by people most harmed by the drug war. 

While New York currently has just one adult-use shop open for business, regulators have approved a total of 36 Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary Licenses (CAURDs), most owned by people who have been harmed by cannabis criminalization and others that will be run by non-profit organizations.

The shop that opened in New York last week is operated by the non-profit organization Housing Works, which focuses on addressing AIDS and homelessness issues. Meanwhile, there are 21 recreational dispensaries operating in New Jersey, where the first adult-use sales launched in April 2022. The majority of those are owned by a cluster of large, multi-state operators—a point of contention for advocates.


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