The state tried to legalize adult-use cannabis this year, but only managed to expand their existing medical cannabis program.
Several national cannabis companies have been lobbying in New Jersey since last year, as the state tried and failed to legalize adult-use cannabis. Instead, the state expanded its medical cannabis program, which has been in place for nearly a decade and saw meaningful growth only after Governor Phil Murphy took office in 2018. A majority of the companies lobbying hold medical cannabis licenses in the state, namely Curaleaf New Jersey, Green Thumb Industries, Columbia Care New Jersey, and TerrAscend NJ (formerly NETA NJ LLC), a subsidiary of Canadian cannabis company TerrAscend Corp.
Also on the list are companies that do not hold licenses in the state: Greenwich Biosciences, the U.S. subsidiary of GW Pharmaceuticals, PharmaCann LLC, which was in the process of being acquired by MedMen Enterprises till the latter killed the deal on Monday, and Acreage Holdings, which is being acquired by Canopy Growth. While Acreage Holdings does not have a license on its own, it partnered with Compassionate Care Foundation Inc.—a licensed operator in New Jersey—in 2018 to assist the latter with its future expansion and operations.
(Read Cannabis Wire’s coverage of the end of MedMen’s $682 million merger with PharmaCann.)
Curaleaf New Jersey—which was one of the six licensed companies in the state before additional licenses were awarded in December 2018—has been lobbying in the state since October 2018.
Columbia Care, which was one of the six new companies permitted to open medical cannabis dispensaries in December last year, has been lobbying in the state since March 2018. Green Thumb Industries and TerrAscend NJ, both of which were also selected to open dispensaries at the same time as Columbia Care only started lobbying in the state in April and May this year respectively. (Cannabis Wire reported on Monday that TerrAscend Corp was also lobbying in Illinois where it does not hold a license.)
Acreage Holdings meanwhile has been lobbying in the state since the summer of 2018, while Greenwich Biosciences has been lobbying since 2016 but added more lobbyists in April last year. Illinois-based PharmaCann LLC, on the other hand, lobbied in the state between August 2018 and June 2019.