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New Jersey Governor Says He’s ‘Honored’ To Have Marijuana Strain Named After Him During Tour Of Grow Facility



The governor of New Jersey says he’s “honored” to have a marijuana product named after him, and he wants to build upon the state’s legalization law to provide “more equity, more reward and redemption” for people impacted under prohibition.

During a tour of a cannabis cultivation facility this week, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) posed for a photo of him holding a promotional flier for the “Murphy’s Sourz” strain from Prolific Growhouse, described as a “delightful mix of sour lemon, sweet tangerine, with hints of diesel and pine.”

David Nicolas, CEO of Prolific Growhouse, told WHYY that he was hoping to catch the governor’s attention by producing the strain with his namesake, but “I didn’t expect him to give me a surprise visit.”

Murphy paid the visit to the Black-owned operation, and he used the opportunity to call for further reform, saying he still wants to see “more equity, more reward and redemption for the folks who were crushed by the war on drugs.”

The governor called Nicolas a “role model for exactly what we want this industry to look like—somebody who has been crushed, sadly, on the one hand by the war on drugs and has reemerged as a bright star.”

Murphy said he toured the Prolific Growhouse facility to “see how our cannabis industry has matured since we passed legalization” in 2021. “Entrepreneurs like David Nicolas give me hope that we can build a strong and diverse industry that reverses some of the worst effects of the War on Drugs.”


Meanwhile, New Jersey’s marijuana market continues to boom, with regulators announcing earlier this month that shops in the state sold a record $201 million worth of product in the first quarter of 2024. The state also reached new “historical highs” in sales over the 4/20 weekend, including more than $5.2 million worth of purchases on the holiday alone.

New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) officials have also stressed that they will not be letting the medical cannabis system fall by the wayside even as they work to support the burgeoning recreational market. To that end, the commission recently eliminated the cost of obtaining a medical cannabis card.

In January, CRC also approved final rules to allow marijuana consumption lounges in the state where people could buy and use cannabis products on-site. And as that’s rolled out, advocates are hoping lawmakers will take steps to authorize home cultivation—a policy that Brown has encouraged the legislature to consider.

For the time being, however, home cultivation remains a felony in New Jersey, spurring lawmakers and activists to push for a change.

Meanwhile, regulators have also solicited input on how to distribute $3 million in revenue from a social equity tax on cannabis cultivators.

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Photo courtesy of Gov. Phil Muprhy.

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