New Jersey has licensed 14 new cannabis businesses, exceeding the number expected in the state's long-awaited expansion of its medical cannabis program.
The Cannabis Regulatory Commission on Friday announced that the winners of a competitive and often burdensome licensing process that began several years ago, during which time nearly 200 entrepreneurs applied for licenses to grow, sell and cultivate medical marijuana, and a lawsuit brought the process to a standstill for at least a year.
The wait is finally over.
At the Friday meeting, the commission’s executive director Jeff Brown proposed licensing 10 cultivation sites, double the initial number, to meet patient demand.
All of the businesses given licenses Friday are certified minority- or women-owned, Brown said.
And one of them, Etain New Jersey, LLC is comprised of nearly 75% percent females. In fact, Etain is also New York’s only women-owned, family-run and vertically integrated cannabis company.
Etain CEO, Amy Peckham, founded the company along with her two daughters Hillary and Keeley, learned that they'd won a New Jersey operating license while attending the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in New York.
'We're so excited. We jumped up from our seats when we heard. My hands are still shaking," Amy Peckham told Benzinga. "We'd been trying every two years," said Peckham who gave a presentation at Friday's Benzinga conference. She and her daughters started Etain when they began researching medical marijuana and discovered its potential benefits
The licenses granted on Friday are exclusively for medical marijuana businesses, which is all that New Jersey has so far, even though voters said yes to legal adult-use weed last fall.
The rollout of the state's cannabis law, not unlike many others, is complex and moves in fits and starts, but the New Jersey commission is expected to begin licensing new businesses soon.
Still, these businesses could eventually grow and sell weed for the public, once they have enough supply to meet both medical and recreational demand, pay fees to the state and serve the medical market for at least one year. This last licensing round began in mid-2019, and was viewed as the largest attempted expansion of the state’s MMJ program to date.
The new licenses to grow cannabis will go to Hillview Med INC., CYOURNJ LLC, and GSCC Management LLC in North Jersey; NJ Nectar Ventures LLC, Noble Valley Harvest Company, Green Medicine NJ LLC, ZY Labs LLC and The NAR Group Inc. in Central Jersey; and Bloom Medicinals of PA LLC and Garden State Releaf, LLC in South Jersey. These together will add 235,000 square feet of space to grow medical marijuana.
In addition to Etain New Jersey, LLC, licenses to companies that will grow, manufacture and dispense cannabis went to Altus New Jersey LLC and Holistic NJ LLC in Central Jersey, and Greenhouse Wellness of NJ LLC in South Jersey.
Photo courtesy of Peckham family
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