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New Jersey Will ‘Reach And Surpass’ $1 Billion In Marijuana Sales In 2024, Even As Federal Legalization Stalls, Top State Regulator Says



The top marijuana regulator in New Jersey is projecting that “this is the year” the state will “reach and surpass” a $1 billion annual cannabis sales milestone—even as he throws cold water on the prospect of federal legalization “anytime soon.”

Jeff Brown, executive director of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC), said during a public hearing on Thursday that he wants to ensure the state marijuana industry is best positioned to compete in the years to come, and he cited forthcoming rules to expand edible offerings at retailers as an example of how to achieve that.

He said the proposed edible regulations would provide an “added level of consumer safety and accountability,” with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) provisions incorporated just as they are in certain federal marijuana legalization bills.

“It’s something that will set New Jersey’s market up to compete in decades to come,” Brown said. “I’m not counting on federal legalization happening anytime soon, but nonetheless we want to make sure businesses in New Jersey are prepared to compete whenever that opportunity arises.”

And as Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and regulators celebrate another milestone this week—with the opening of more than 100 medical and recreational dispensaries—the official reaffirmed that he believes New Jersey will see 2024 marijuana sales cross the $1 billion mark.

“We’re making progress here, and the market is making incredible progress, and I’ve said before that that we are headed to a billion dollar market,” he said. “I’ve seen enough now in the data—and we’ll be releasing more data in the coming weeks and months—but 2024 is the year this is the billion dollar market. This is the year that New Jersey does a billion dollars in cannabis sales.”

“There’ll be more to come on that throughout the year, but I’m confident that we’ll reach and surpass that milestone in calendar year 2024,” Brown said.

The state’s adult-use market launched just under two years ago, but regulators have been consistent in their efforts to build upon it—which has included rulemaking around expanded edible product offerings, as well as recently finalized rules to allow for cannabis consumption lounges.

Regulators have already waived certain requirements to authorize the sale of additional marijuana edible types.

NJ-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.

Meanwhile, New Jersey lawmakers are gearing up for a busy 2024, filing over a dozen bills touching on issues that include marijuana interstate commerce, home grow, banking and employment protections.

In December, the governor and state attorney general separately announced the recipients of $5.2 million in hospital-based violence-intervention grants funded with revenue from state-legal marijuana.

Also that month, New Jersey opened applications for the second phase of a marijuana social equity funding program, which will make $150,000 grants to awardees and offer eight weeks of technical assistance.

New York Officials Approve Marijuana Home Grow Rules And New Business Licenses Amid ‘Rocky Start’ For Legal Market

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