In a bid to boost a sagging adult-use marijuana market and encourage minority participation, New Jersey state regulators abolished the state’s cultivation license cap.
New Jersey’s legalization law capped the number of large cultivation licenses at 37 for an initial two-year period, but that restriction expires Feb. 22.
To encourage growth in a still “developing market” as well as diversity, the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) elected Wednesday not to renew the expiring cap, NJ.com reported.
But to date, only 17 cultivation facilities have opened in New Jersey, according to the CRC.
That’s the fewest among 15 other states surveyed by the agency.
The state would need “nearly 850 more” to meet the national average, according to the CRC.
Adult-use sales in New Jersey kicked off last April.
But so far, the recreational market has been dominated by multistate operators active in the medical marijuana space before full legalization.
On top of that, New Jersey might have the smallest ratio of cultivation capacity to population of any state in the country, officials recently acknowledged to NJ.com.
Of New Jersey’s existing 17 cultivation licensees, six are medical only and 11 can grow for adult-use as well as medical.
Total statewide operational canopy is currently 418,000 square feet, the commission said.