New Jersey’s governor says he remains “very much open-minded” about the idea of adding a home grow option to the state’s marijuana law—but he still wants to give the licensed industry more time to mature before implementing that change.
In an interview with New 12 New Jersey on Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) was asked about the state’s ongoing criminalization of home cultivation, especially as others states permit it.
“I’m very much open-minded to this. I would bet—if I were a betting man—that down the road that that’s exactly where this would land,” he said. “I understand, having said that, why wasn’t in our initial regs, because I think there’s a rightful objective to get this industry up on its feet and make sure that the folks who are in this as a matter of commerce are successful and, again, with a huge amount of focus on equity.”
“Social justice is how I got here to begin with, to support it. What we’ve done, by the way, has gone really well. We just haven’t done enough. We’ve just got to do more—get this more proliferated,” he added. “But I think once the industry is up on its feet, and it is getting there…I think at some point [home grow is] a consideration we’ll get back on the table.”
Murphy has been repeatedly pressed on the state’s lack of a home cultivation option, and he’s maintained his openness to the policy before and after New Jersey’s adult-use cannabis market launched last year.
What he hasn’t offered, however, is a concrete sense of what exactly he’d want to see in terms of industry maturation before he’d be willing to seriously engage on the issue administratively or legislatively.
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The marijuana market has continued to evolve in other ways since shops opened. For example, state cannabis regulators started accepting public comment last month on proposed rules to expand the types of edible cannabis products that could be sold at licensed retailers, including beverages, chocolates, baked goods and jams.
Regulators have already waived certain requirements to authorize the sale of additional marijuana edible types.
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) has also looked into adopting new rules that would create a permit to allow “clinically focused” cannabis dispensaries to enter into partnerships with research institutions to carry out cannabis studies using products that they grow or sell to patients.
In terms of promoting social equity, the state recently awarded $12 million in grant money to 48 licensed cannabis operators to help them start and expand their businesses. It’s part of the state’s effort to remove barriers to entry to the legal industry, especially among people from communities disproportionately harmed by the drug war.
Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.