WEST ORANGE, N.J. — Seventeen months after New Jersey voted to legalize recreational marijuana, the state’s long awaited marketplace finally got the green light.
The Cannabis Regulatory Commission approved seven medical marijuana dispensaries to start selling pot to any adult who wants it, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported Monday.
“Over the last year, we have hit several milestones, and they’ve all been critical to getting us to this point,” said Jeff Brown, executive director of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission.
Just three weeks ago, the commission rejected applications from the same medical dispensaries, worried patients would be hit with exorbitant prices if supply could not meet recreational demand. Businesses had to establish safeguards to ensure patient access.
“These include 14 patient-only hours per week, exclusive parking options at the ATCs, exclusive point-of-sale systems for patients,” Brown said.
The delays have drawn tremendous criticism from businesses and Senate President Nick Scutari, but Gov. Phil Murphy defended the process, saying that setting up an equitable market focused on social justice takes time.
“As we go forward and build the industry, we gotta make sure it looks like our state, which is the most diverse state in America,” Murphy said.
So far, the commission has granted more than 100 conditional