Greetings From New Jersey, Now The 15th State To Go Green

By Stu Zakim

After a long rollercoaster rider, which saw the Cannabis legislation in New Jersey go through many iterations, this past Monday, it finally became legal.  The Garden State now stands in a unique position of being the epicenter of legal Adult Use and medical Cannabis on the East Coast.  The bigger question is can the current infrastructure manage what will surely be a significant increase in consumers purchasing legal Cannabis without minimizing the importance of keeping the state’s over 100 thousand medical patients fully supplied with the medicine they need to manage their lives in a healthier way than opiates.

Stu Zakim and NORML:’s Keith Stroup

In most of the states where the voters or legislators have approved laws that make Cannabis use legal, there has been a major hit on the medical patients.  New Jersey, in learning from the other states, have addressed a number of issues to avoid making the same mistakes.  They need to be applauded for their focus on the patients rather than the Adult use consumer as it’s all about how the plant makes life better for all.

Besides the celebration of the approval of the bill and Governor Murphy’s signing of it, the new bill will finally deal with the long term impacts of social injustice and equity that have affected communities of brown, black and Latino’s.  No longer can the police arrest someone if they smell of Cannabis or alcohol based on that fact; there are other long needed corrections to how the police deal with underage and Adult use Cannabis in place thanks to the concerted efforts of industry leaders like Leo Bridgewater, Ed Devereux, Scott Rudder, William Caruso, Susanna Short, Happy Munkey and others.

Curved Papers founder Michael O’Malley and Stu Zakim at the 2018 NYC Cannabis Parade

From a financial perspective, New Jersey is situated between two of the most populous areas in the I-95 corridor on Amtrak – NYC and Philadelphia – and should reap those rewards as it expands its medical program and moves towards awarding more licenses before moving on the Adult Use dispensaries.

As a communications strategist who has spent 8 years preparing for this moment on the East Coast, validates all the principals my friend David Rheins created with his forward thinking Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and their many media properties (including MJNews Network and Marijuana Channel One used to help influence public opinion through educational programs long before others joined that space.

As the legalization process moves forward in NJ and hopefully NYC, please check MJNews for regular updates.  It’s going to be an exciting time and thanks for reading.

New Jersey Governor Murphy Signs Historic Adult-Use Cannabis Reform Bills Into Law

NEW JERSEY:  Governor Phil Murphy today signed historic adult-use cannabis reform bills into law, legalizing and regulating cannabis use and possession for adults 21 years and older (A21 – “The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act”) and decriminalizing marijuana and hashish possession (A1897). The Governor also signed S3454, clarifying marijuana and cannabis use and possession penalties for individuals younger than 21 years old.

“Our current marijuana prohibition laws have failed every test of social justice, which is why for years I’ve strongly supported the legalization of adult-use cannabis. Maintaining a status quo that allows tens of thousands, disproportionately people of color, to be arrested in New Jersey each year for low-level drug offenses is unjust and indefensible,” said Governor Murphy. “This November, New Jerseyans voted overwhelmingly in support of creating a well-regulated adult-use cannabis market. Although this process has taken longer than anticipated, I believe it is ending in the right place and will ultimately serve as a national model.

“This legislation will establish an industry that brings equity and economic opportunity to our communities, while establishing minimum standards for safe products and allowing law enforcement to focus their resources on real public safety matters,” continued Governor Murphy. “Today, we’re taking a monumental step forward to reduce racial disparities in our criminal justice system, while building a promising new industry and standing on the right side of history. I’d like to thank the Legislature, advocates, faith leaders, and community leaders for their dedicated work and partnership on this critical issue.”

“At long last, New Jersey is turning the page on our previous treatment of marijuana use,” said Dianna Houenou, incoming Chair of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC). “I am excited to get to work building on the successes of the medical program and standing up the adult-use cannabis industry. It’s an honor to be part of this historic movement in New Jersey.”

“The failed War on Drugs has systematically targeted people of color and the poor, disproportionately impacting Black and Brown communities and hurting families in New Jersey and across our nation,” said U.S Senator Cory Booker. “Today is a historic day, and I applaud Governor Murphy, the legislature, and the many advocates for racial and social justice whose leadership is ensuring that New Jersey is at the forefront of equitable marijuana legalization policy. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to end the federal marijuana prohibition so we can finally begin healing the wounds of decades of injustice.”

“This is a historic reform that will have a real-life impact on social justice, law enforcement and the state’s economy,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney. “We can now move forward to correct social injustices at the same time that marijuana is made legal for adults. This  will launch a new cannabis industry with the potential to create jobs and generate economic activity at a time when it is desperately needed. The decriminalization law is the most sweeping measure of its kind in the country and is a groundbreaking step in our continued effort to make criminal justice reforms that are fairer and more effective. This will help reduce the racial disparities and social inequities that have long plagued our criminal justice system.”

“For the last fifty years, marijuana criminalization has been used as a tool to propel mass incarceration,” said Senator Sandra Cunningham. “It has done immeasurable harm to Black and Brown communities around the country, and today we begin to right the ship here in New Jersey. I look forward to seeing the tangible impact this legislation has on our communities in the years to come.”

“I am proud to have been a driving force behind the most progressive decriminalization law in the country and I am grateful to finally see it enacted,” said Senator Teresa Ruiz. “Every day roughly 100 people in New Jersey are arrested for marijuana possession, this law is a move that offers individuals a second chance and ensures they do not become entangled in the criminal justice system. This is yet another step towards bringing justice and equity to our communities. Going forward, we must continue to look for creative solutions to reverse the generational impact the War on Drugs has had.”

“This will usher in a new era of social justice by doing away with the failed policy that criminalized the use of marijuana,” said Senator Nicholas Scutari, the leading advocate of legalizing adult-use marijuana in New Jersey over the past decade. “Too many people have been arrested, incarcerated and left with criminal records that disrupt and even destroy their lives. We don’t want the criminal justice system to be an unfair barrier to success. By implementing a regulated system that allows people age 21 and over to purchase limited amounts of marijuana for personal use we will bring marijuana out of the underground market where it can be controlled, regulated and taxed, just as alcohol has been for decades. New Jersey will now be a leader in legalizing a once stigmatized drug in ways that will help the communities hurt the most by the War on Drugs and realize the economic benefits of the new adult-use cannabis market.”

“We’re moving closer to the long-overdue need to end cannabis prohibition,” said Assemblywoman Annette Quijano. “So much time, effort, and thought have gone into this legislation. We’ve continued conversations, for what I believe, has produced a stronger piece of legislation with a focused eye toward social justice and equity. This is the beginning of a new era of economic opportunity, social justice for marijuana possession, and hope for a better future for thousands of New Jersey residents.”

“With legalization comes an unprecedented opportunity for residents to clean the slate with expungement provisions and for communities to grow their economic base with businesses,” said Assemblyman Jamel Holley. “A key component of cannabis legalization is addressing social justice concerns. The fact that Black New Jerseyans are 3 or 4 times more likely to be arrested on cannabis charges has contributed to the disenfranchisement of black communities. We have the opportunity here to also right the wrongs in our society in regards to past criminal possession of cannabis. No matter where you stand in the legalized marijuana debate, there has been a clear understanding that minorities within our urban communities have been hit hardest in the so-called War on Drugs. During this entire campaign for legalization, there has been one united vocal stance: There was harm done in the past and it must be corrected.”

“This new law includes real, enterprising opportunities for New Jersey communities that have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition, along with more defined employment opportunities and a commission that requires diversity,” said Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake. “This will be a clear revenue generator for the State, and the social justice and diversity portion in the legislation remains imperative.”

“Undoubtedly, this is the largest regulatory undertaking the state has considered since the Casino Control Commission,” said Assemblywoman Angela McKnight. “Remaining at status quo meant continued disparity in arrests for African Americans and teens for amounts now to be considered personal use.  We are moving the state in a direction more compassionate for cannabis and in line with what is happening across the country in regards to legalization.”

“This has been a long time coming in our State,” said Assemblyman Joseph Danielsen. “who chairs the Assembly Federal Relations and Oversight Reform Committee led the discussion on the bill in today’s hearing. “Social justice for black and brown communities, which have been generationally impacted by cannabis prohibition, and equity in business are priorities in this legislation. We cannot fairly, or effectively provide regulation without ensuring these communities stay at the forefront of the conversation.”

“New Jersey voters on November 3rd issued the Legislature a mandate: to provide the infrastructure for the legalization of cannabis in New Jersey. Today, we move on that directive by presenting legislation for discussion with fellow legislation and statewide stakeholders,” said Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly. “The War on Drugs in many ways became a war on particular communities, incarcerating millions of black and brown people and affecting families irreparably for decades. Our work on refining this legislation aims to correct the economic and social justice disparities surrounding cannabis use.”

“With Governor Murphy’s signature, the decades-long practice of racist marijuana enforcement will begin to recede, in a shift that emphasizes the urgency of building the most equitable framework possible for cannabis legalization,” said Amol Sinha, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, which is a founding member of New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform. “With this historic reform, New Jersey also shifts our approach to youth possession and use by moving away from the punitive status quo to a framework that values public health, harm reduction, and the well-being of young people. Our state’s cannabis laws can set a new standard for what justice can look like, with the removal of criminal penalties for possession and an unprecedented portion of tax revenue dedicated to addressing the harms wrought by the drug war. Signing these laws puts in motion the next phase of this effort: to work relentlessly to transform the principles of legalization into greater racial and social justice in New Jersey. This is a new beginning – and the culmination of years of advocacy – and we must keep in mind that it is only the start.”

Under A21, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) will promulgate regulations to govern the medical and adult-use industries and oversee the applications for licensing of cannabis businesses. The legislation further provides for the Legislature to reinvest cannabis revenues in designated “impact zones”; directs the CRC to promote diversity and inclusion in business ownership; and contains critical employment protections for people who engage in lawful behavior with respect to cannabis.

A1897 reforms criminal and civil penalties for marijuana and hashish offenses, as well as provides remedies for people currently facing certain marijuana charges. The bill prevents unlawful low-level distribution and possession offenses from being used in pretrial release, probation, and parole decisions and provides certain protections against discrimination in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation. The bill also creates a pathway to vacate active sentences for certain offenses committed before enactment of the enabling legislation.

The Governor today also signed S3454 into law, clarifying penalties for marijuana and cannabis possession and consumption for individuals younger than 21 years old. The legislation corrects inconsistencies in A21 and A1897 concerning marijuana and cannabis penalties for those underage.

“I have been working on decriminalizing adult-use marijuana for well over three years now, and I am happy to finally see it become a reality,” said Senator Ronald Rice. “This is a common-sense and just law that gives an equal playing field for folks in communities of color. Many have argued that legalizing adult-use marijuana has been for social, economic and criminal justice, however, decriminalization for me, is equally as important. I will continue to watch closely and fight to ensure communities of color are treated equally.”

“This is only one piece in the many parts of change that must be done in the name of social justice for our communities. The War on Drugs in many ways became a war on particular communities, incarcerating millions of people and affecting families irreparably for decades,” said Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly. “The action we take now to help our black and brown communities who have been disproportionately affected by current laws surrounding cannabis use is critical to trauma for future generations.”

“There have been far too many people, especially those from Black and Hispanic communities, who have been negatively impacted by the criminalization of cannabis,” said Assemblywoman Annette Quijano. “There have been long-term impacts on the lives of all people in this state, but considerably those of color. This law is the product of taking a hard look at our current laws, listening to the will of the majority of New Jerseyans and taking a common-sense approach to cannabis offenses.”

“Black New Jerseyans are up to four times more likely to be arrested on cannabis charges than White people. It is a sad fact, a further painful reminder that so people in our communities have been disenfranchised for far too long,” said Assemblyman Jamel Holley. “There have always been glaring social justice concerns and obvious inequity in the high number of arrests of minority residents. Now, finally, this is the time for it to stop.”

“It’s time for the change we seek,” said Assemblywoman Angela McKnight. “New Jersey residents are not happy with the status quo and we need to move in a direction of compassion for the communities that have long been targeted by current regulatory criteria. The call for action, for social justice reform, is resounding throughout our nation. And it begins in New Jersey today.”

“Decriminalization and expungement for those who have been disproportionately incarcerated for marijuana offenses is well overdue in New Jersey and many other states throughout this nation,” said Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake. “A criminal marijuana charge has a detrimental effect on an individual’s opportunity to access higher education, obtain gainful employment, receive housing support, and address child custody issues.  Not all communities are impacted equally by marijuana enforcement, measures to reduce the collateral consequences of criminal records are ones of racial, social, and economic justice. This is about social justice for a people who have endured the inequities in the law for generations.”

In July 2019, Governor Murphy signed legislation (“The Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act”) to reform New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) and expand patient access to medical marijuana, ensuring this life-changing medical treatment is affordable and accessible for those who need it most.

In December 2019, Governor Murphy signed one of the most progressive expungement reforms in the nation, giving individuals entangled in the criminal justice system the opportunity to fully participate in society. S4154 eliminated fees for expungement applications and additionally created a petition process for “clean slate” expungement for residents, as well as required the State to implement an automated clean slate expungement system. Furthermore, the bill required that low-level marijuana convictions be sealed upon the disposition of a case, preventing those convictions from being used against individuals in the future.

 

Emmy Award-Winning Executive Elizabeth Browde Joins A New Cannabis Channel As COO

NEW JERSEY: Emmy award-winning media executive Elizabeth Browde is taking her talents to cannabis media, joining as COO of A New Cannabis Channel, a mainstream omni-channel scheduled to debut on 4/20/2021.

Ms. Browde, whose vast experience includes significant roles in platform start ups, television programming, celebrity global brands, brand building, TV commerce, will join CEO Kerri Accardi in the venture, designed to bring a variety of cannabis-infused edutainment programming to the canna-curious.

“Our focus is on educating the mainstream through compelling content, high-quality production, innovative advertising, and easy accessibility,” Accardi told MJNews. “We are on a mission to educate the world about cannabis.”

Scheduled for a soft launch on the stoner holiday 4/20, A New Cannabis Channel, will feature original programming with the leading voices in cannabis business, science, sports, medical, growing, and consumer culture.  Super Bowl Champion Marvin Washington will host “5th Quarter: What Happens After the Game.”; Nurse Heather Manus will host “Nurse Talk: Nurses Take on Medical Cannabis”; while “Faces of Cannabis” will feature thought-leaders in legal cannabis and hemp.

“This isn’t your stoner channel.” Browde tells David Rheins, “It is really about showing people the many uses of cannabis, and providing them with the information and tools they need to make decisions about how and when to use cannabis.

Listen in on this Marijuana Channel One exclusive, as MJNews Network’s David Rheins talks to Elizabeth about the role of media in the cannabis cultural revolution; women-run enterprises and how they are changing the canna-business; and the programming that will soon be coming to a screen near you.

New Jersey Licensed Cannabis Industry Employees Choose to Unionize With UFCW

Working with UFCW Local 152 and Local 360, employees of Verano NJ voted to become UFCW members, signaling a long-term commitment to their careers, their communities and the licensed cannabis industry

NEW JERSEY:  Two United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) chapters, Local 152 and Local 360, today announced that employees of medical cannabis company Verano NJ will become UFCW members. Workers made the decision to organize in order to make sure their rights are protected and acknowledged, as their fast-growing industry continues to evolve. Union membership also ensures that Verano NJ employees retain an important voice in developing and maintaining high operating and management standards.

Representatives of UFCW described the process as open and collaborative and noted Verano NJ’s engagement. Currently, the company holds a permit to cultivate and process medical cannabis in New Jersey, employing around 80 people. Recently it held a series of community job fairs to grow its workforce.

“Everyone wins when a mutually respectful, union-business relationship exists,” said Hugh Giordano, Local 152 representative. “This agreement extends our commitment to employees in this exciting young industry, and it will assist Verano NJ in accomplishing its goals in a way that benefits host communities.”

UFCW Local 152 operates at the forefront of regional efforts to work with employees and business owners in the regulated cannabis industry.

“Nationally, UFCW represents the interests of thousands of cannabis industry workers,” added Local 360 representative John Powers. “We’ve helped craft Labor Peace Agreements and Collective Bargaining Agreements that improve working conditions, enable the industry to gain support and legitimacy, and set the high standards consumers demand. This choice, by Verano NJ employees, recognizes the positive impact unions have on employees, their families and the places where they work and live.”

UFCW Local 360 has a task force dedicated to organizing employees in the cannabis industry.

New Jersey Attorney General Grewal Issues Additional Guidance To Prosecutors On Handling Low-Level Marijuana Possession-Related Cases

NEW JERSEY:  Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal has issued additional guidance to prosecutors concerning the prosecution of low-level marijuana cases, supplementing his August 29, 2018 and November 4, 2020 guidance.

Attorney General Grewal directed all New Jersey municipal, county, and state prosecutors to adjourn, until at least January 25, 2021, any juvenile or adult case solely involving the following marijuana possession-related offenses:

  • possession of marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S. 2C:35-10(a)(3);
  • possession of marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S. 2C:35-10(a)(4);
  • being under the influence of marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S. 2C:35-10(c);
  • failure to make lawful disposition of marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S. 2C:35-10(d);
  • use or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia under N.J.S. 2C:36-2 involving only marijuana or hashish;
  • possession of a controlled dangerous substance while operating a motor vehicle in violation of N.J.S. 39:4-49.1 involving only marijuana or hashish; and
  • any disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense subject to conditional discharge pursuant to N.J.S. 2C:36A-1 involving only marijuana or hashish.

For cases involving the above-enumerated charges as well as other offenses, the Attorney General directed prosecutors to use their discretion to either postpone the case in its entirety or seek dismissal, without prejudice, of the marijuana possession-related charge(s) and proceed with prosecution of the remaining charges. Notably, today’s guidance does not affect the prosecution of cases charging distribution of marijuana or possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

“Fairness demands that we suspend prosecution of marijuana possession-related cases while we await direction from the Legislature on the parameters for decriminalization of marijuana and legalization of regulated adult-use cannabis,” said Attorney General Grewal. “It simply does not make sense or serve justice to proceed with prosecutions on charges that may be foreclosed soon through legislative action.”

Previously, on November 4th, the Attorney General issued guidance to law enforcement emphasizing that they have broad discretion in handling low-level marijuana offenses, and encouraging them to exercise that discretion in light of anticipated legislative action that may decriminalize marijuana.

Attorney General Grewal reiterated that more comprehensive guidance, including direction on handling previously adjudicated matters, will follow when the Legislature provides details of the framework for marijuana decriminalization and the legalization of adult-use cannabis.

Guidance for Marijuana Possession Cases Pending in Municipal and Superior Courts: click here.

Guidance Regarding Municipal Prosecutors’ Discretion in Prosecuting Marijuana and Other Criminal Offenses, August 29, 2018: click here.

Interim Guidance on the Constitutional Amendment Legalizing Cannabis, November 4, 2020: click here.

NEW JERSEY: TerrAscend Issued Permit To Dispense Medical Marijuana In Phillipsburg As “The Apothecarium”

The Facility, doing business as “The Apothecarium,” is Now the 13th Dispensary Statewide, First in Warren County

NEW JERSEY: The New Jersey Department of Health today issued a permit allowing TerrAscend to begin dispensing medical cannabis in Phillipsburg.  TerrAscend is operating their dispensary under the name, “The Apothecarium.”  This is the 13th facility dispensing marijuana for medical use in New Jersey and the first to operate in Warren County.

The Phillipsburg location is set to open tomorrow, November 24th. TerrAscend is currently cultivating and processing in Boonton Township.

“Expanding access to our growing patient population continues to be a high priority especially during these unprecedented times,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “The opening of this site will provide residents in the Northwestern New Jersey better access to products they need to treat their conditions.”

TerrAscend Corp. | CSE - Canadian Securities Exchange

The 12 other ATCs currently dispensing include Ascend Wellness of Montclair, The Botanist (Compassionate Care Foundation) of Egg Harbor and Atlantic City, Garden State Dispensary of Woodbridge, Eatontown and Union Township, Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center of Cranbury, Curaleaf NJ, Inc. in Bellmawr, Harmony Dispensary in Secaucus, Rise in Paterson, Zen Leaf Elizabeth and Columbia Care in Vineland.

Participation in the program continues to grow. There are currently over 97,500 patients, 3,600 caregivers and 1,250 physicians enrolled.

Patients and caregivers can visit the Division of Medicinal Marijuana’s website if they choose to change their preferred ATC. The change can also be made by calling the Customer Service Unit of the Division at 844-419-9712 and does not require changing ID cards.

Patients can refer to the FAQ section of the website for additional information. Active physicians enrolled in the program are listed by county and medical specialty.

New Jersey residents interested in registering for medicinal marijuana can click here.  Registration requires an authorization by a participating physician.

Terrapin Announces Plans For Hoboken Dispensary

Begins local process for medical cannabis with community impact plan

NEW JERSEY: Terrapin has announced plans to open a medical cannabis dispensary in Hoboken, with a social equity community impact plan that has the support of the community’s nonprofit sector.

Minority-owned Terrapin has plans to open a dispensary in Hoboken at 86 River St. After nearly three years of outreach to the community, Terrapin is ready to begin the local zoning process, preparing paperwork to move through local zoning boards. Terrapin wanted to wait until it had the support of the North Jersey community before making any announcements.

“As always, Terrapin is focused on planting local roots,” said Chris Woods, the founder, owner and CEO of Terrapin. “We are so thankful to our partners in the Hoboken community who have welcomed us with open arms. We are excited to serve these communities as responsible corporate actors in meeting the needs of cannabis patients, while also leaving a positive community footprint.”

An expanded cannabis industry means potential for long-lasting community partnerships. As part of its commitment to local North Jersey communities, Terrapin has identified several nonprofits and organizations to work with to create a beneficial footprint for its neighbors. Much of the focus is on diversity in workforce and economic development.

Nonprofits and organizations Terrapin partnered with include: 

  • WomenRising, a Jersey City-based nonprofit that assists women and families in North Jersey with counseling, economic development and advocacy. Terrapin has pledged to assist in creating an employment pipeline by connecting WomenRising alumni to potential employment opportunities within Terrapin. Terrapin also has pledged financial support to the organization.
  • Oasis, A Haven for Women and Children. The Paterson organization’s mission is to change the lives of women and children by breaking the cycle of poverty through compassionate programs designed to feed, clothe, educate and empower women and children in need. Terrapin will work on an employment pipeline with the organization, while providing volunteers in the form of directors to develop mentorships and training.
  • Project Help, a group dedicated to serving homeless veterans in northern New Jersey. The nonprofit has been able to expand services to include financial support and legal assistance. One initiative Terrapin has pledged to support is to assist veterans suffering from PTSD. There has been a strong nexus between medical cannabis legalization and assisting veterans, and Terrapin would like to see that momentum grow. Terrapin helped to launch VetForce in Pennsylvania, a security firm for the cannabis industry. Terrapin has plans to assist with a similar program in New Jersey where veterans run security for the cannabis industry.
  • Hudson Pride Center, the LGBTQ+ Community Center for Hudson County. Hudson Pride offers a variety of health, support and social services to the LGBTQ+ community. Hudson County has the largest LGBTQ+ population in the State of New Jersey and Terrapin has long stood as an ally to this community. We will work to educate the local community about the medical efficacy of cannabis, especially for conditions that might be relevant to the LGBTQ+ community, like anxiety and HIV/AIDS. Terrapin will also work with the group on a jobs pipeline.
  • United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). Terrapin has entered into a Labor Peace Agreement with the Union to avoid labor disputes and to promote harmonious labor relations.

“Terrapin recognizes that partnerships between the business and nonprofit sectors create synergies which benefit individuals and the larger community,” said Roseann Mazzeo, S.C., WomenRising Executive Director. “Workforce development is critical to our mission of assisting women and their families to achieve self-sufficiency and live safe, productive and fulfilling lives. We look forward to working with Terrapin in developing additional opportunities to support this mission.”

Social equity job fair 
Terrapin also has plans for a job fair with an emphasis on social equity. Terrapin will model the program after a similar event the company held in Michigan, where Terrapin provided resources to socio-disadvantaged communities looking for access to a new cannabis industry. Drawing upon our experience with Color of Cannabis, Terrapin will place a focus on diversity as it establishes operations in Hoboken.

Color of Cannabis provides technical business support, mentorship training, and partnerships for people of color and stakeholders negatively impacted by cannabis prohibition. The group will oversee a social equity informational session and resume-building workshop for Terrapin in New Jersey, holding the event virtually if COVID-19 prohibits in-person gatherings. Those who attend the informational session will receive valuable resume-building and interview tips to improve chances of employment. Participants will be encouraged to attend a Terrapin job fair and Color of Cannabis will screen resumes to ensure diversity in hiring.

Support from community leaders 
Terrapin partnered with several high-profile figures in the Hoboken community, including Joseph Castelo, a second-generation descendant of Galician Spanish immigrants who dreamed about building up the community that gave him and his family so many opportunities. Joe, a filmmaker and entrepreneur, has provided fundraising platforms and events for GLAAD, The Water Project, the Boys and Girls Club, and he has donated to numerous local charities. Antique Bar and Bakery, the Hoboken restaurant Joe co-owns, donates food to the community’s homeless shelter. Antique’s senior employees and Joe have also mentored local youth interested in pursuing careers in the restaurant business. Joe himself has extended employment opportunities to ex-inmates, an exercise that has been tremendously successful.

“It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with Chris Woods and his team at Terrapin,” Castelo said. “Terrapin’s culture aligns strongly with our commitment to serving the local community. We are thrilled to enter into a partnership to work with Terrapin to bring more opportunity and diversity to Hoboken’s workforce, while also offering access to patients who need medical cannabis. We look forward to a long relationship.”

Accountability
Terrapin has established several boards to reflect a commitment to Hoboken. The volunteer-based advisory boards include counseling on community impact, workforce development, and medical cannabis efficacy. The boards will convene at least twice a year to ensure that Terrapin is remaining true to its mission of positively impacting the local community, while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of medical cannabis.

Terrapin’s history as a pioneer
Founded in Boulder, Colo. in 2009 as one of the first licensed medical marijuana providers in the country, Terrapin has led the industry as a pioneer. Expanding to New Jersey serves as a homecoming for founder Chris Woods, whose family resides in the state. What started as a one-man business in an office park in South Boulder has blossomed into a national company with more than 300 employees.

Terrapin operates six dispensaries and four cultivation/processing facilities in Colorado. In addition to its Colorado operations, Terrapin operates a licensed grower/processor medical marijuana facility in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, and it recently launched a medical cannabis grower facility in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“We have a proven track record that ensures that we will fit in with the fabric of this community,” Woods added. “The relationships we have developed with the community allow us to serve as a responsible partner who is invested in the future of Hoboken and North Jersey.”

NJWeedman Launches “Get on the CannaBus”

New Instagram Series to Highlight Acts of Civil Disobedience and Protest in New Jersey

NEW JERSEY:  For over three decades, Ed Forchion aka NJWeedman has fought for the legalization of marijuana. As one of the first Black activist in the movement, dating back to the early 90’s, Forchion has spent over 1200 days in prison, fighting for the right to smoke and sell pot.

Now, in 2020, with marijuana legalized in the majority of states, Forchion is part of a vocal collective that is fighting against the current legalization policies in his home state of New Jersey. Forchion asserts that new laws are being set to criminalize growers and small vendors like him, while awarding billion-dollar contracts to corporations for the sales, distribution and marketing of the plant.

In an effort to mobilize attention to this grave matter, Forchion is launching “Get on the CannaBus with NJWeedman” an Instagram Live series starting Monday, September 7, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. ET to 7:00 p.m. ET, to garner awareness and support per his current anti-legalization campaign in New Jersey.

NJ Department Of Health Issues Permit To Grow Medical Marijuana

NEW JERSEY: The New Jersey Department of Health issued last month a permit to Justice Grown in Ewing to begin growing medical marijuana. The permit was issued after a comprehensive review including several site inspections, background checks of its corporate officers and a review of its security operations and cultivation facility.

“As our program continues to grow, the Department wants to ensure that we also continue to increase access for all patients,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. “This new permit brings the total number of operational medical marijuana cultivation sites in the state to 12.”

Justice Grown is the last Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) to receive a cultivation permit among the awards made by the Division of Medicinal Marijuana in December 2018. Earlier this year, the Division issued cultivation permits to Verano in Readington, MPX NJ in Pleasantville, TerrAscend in Boonton Township, and Columbia Care NJ in Vineland.

Once Justice Grown receives its permit to dispense, the Division will notify the patients and caregivers by email of the opening date.  Justice Grown’s dispensary will also be located in Ewing.

There are nine ATCs currently dispensing medical marijuana: Greenleaf Compassion Center of Montclair, Compassionate Care Foundation of Egg Harbor, Garden State Dispensary of Woodbridge and Union Township, Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center of Cranbury, Curaleaf NJ, Inc. in Bellmawr, Harmony Dispensary in Secaucus and Rise in Paterson and Compassionate Care Foundation of Atlantic City.

Program participation continues to grow. There are now 75,468 patients, 2,949 caregivers and 1,149 physicians participating in the program.

Patients and caregivers can visit the Division’s website if they choose to change their preferred ATC. The change can also be made by calling the Customer Service Unit of the Division of Medicinal Marijuana at 844-419-9712 and does not require changing ID cards.

Patients can refer to the FAQ section of the Division of Medicinal Marijuana website for additional information. Active physicians enrolled in the program are listed by county and medical specialty.

New Jersey residents interested in registering for Medicinal Marijuana can click here.

Follow the New Jersey Department of Health on Twitter @njdeptofhealth, Facebook /njdeptofhealth, Instagram@njdeptofhealth and Snapchat @njdoh.

For more information, visit our homepage at nj.gov/health.

Acreage Announces Grand Opening Of The Botanist By Compassionate Care Foundation in Atlantic City

The Botanist by Compassionate Care Foundation is the first The Botanist dispensary to open in the state of New Jersey

Acreage-Holdings

NEW JERSEY:  Acreage Holdings, one of the largest vertically integrated, multi-state operators of cannabis licenses and assets in the U.S., today announced the opening of The Botanist by Compassionate Care Foundation on Saturday, February 22, 2020, by its business partner, New Jersey’s Compassionate Care Foundation, Inc., a New Jersey nonprofit corporation. Acreage and CCF are parties to a services agreement with CCF under which Acreage delivers its operational expertise, product development capabilities, and The Botanist retail dispensary brand.  On November 15, 2019, Acreage and CCF entered into a reorganization agreement which will result in CCF becoming a wholly-owned, for-profit subsidiary of Acreage.  Closing of the transaction is subject to state approval.

The medicinal cannabis dispensary is located on the Atlantic City Boardwalk at 1301 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey. With the opening, Acreage now owns or has management services, consulting or other agreements for 31 operational dispensaries in 12 states, including 13 The Botanist branded dispensaries.

Developed by Acreage, The Botanist is both a retail and product brand, deeply rooted in health and wellness, and focused on the holistic power of cannabis to help individuals live balanced lifestyles. The Botanist CCF offers a wide selection of flower-only products and features a “science meets nature” retail design reminiscent of a 19th century botanist laboratory. Offering a warm and inviting environment in which to learn about the healing properties of the cannabis plant from trained patient care specialists, The Botanist CCF’s design includes a “SEED BAR” education station, a private consultation room, The Botanist’s signature “green foliage wall,” and much more.