New Jersey’s cannabis industry is in a ‘doom loop,’ trade group says

Just more than a year after beginning recreational cannabis sales, New Jersey’s legal cannabis industry is in a “doom loop” of slow licensing and a lack of enforcement that is causing it to stagnate, a cannabis trade group says.

The New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association, which represents the majority of cultivators and dispensaries in New Jersey, issued a report Tuesday placing blame for the state’s slow-growing cannabis industry on the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission, the agency that establishes and enforces regulations governing legal cannabis. The CRC, the report said, is “hindering the market’s potential” due to a protracted licensing process.

“We’re advocating starting with the removal of the bureaucracy,” said Todd Johnson, the group’s executive director. “We are making it difficult right at the point of entry for no reason.”

New Jersey could be losing as much as $1.8 million a year in potential tax revenue per location as a result of delayed retail store openings, the report concludes. In addition, the NJCTA points to the proliferation of unregulated hemp-derived cannabinoids and the state’s minimal enforcement against illicit operators as reasons for slow industry growth.

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