NJ, NY progressing toward adult-use cannabis launch, but one deadline slipping

New York and rival New Jersey are plugging along toward launching adult-use cannabis markets, but neither state has a firm timetable yet for doing so and New Jersey is likely to miss a self-imposed deadline, state officials said this week.

In New York, cannabis officials said recreational marijuana regulations will be released in late winter or early spring.

Once those are issued, public comments will be taken for 60 days, before businesses can apply for adult-use licenses.

“Everyone wants to know when will there be adult sales in New York state,” Tremaine Wright, chair of the Cannabis Control Board, acknowledged at a community outreach meeting this week.

But, she added, “while we want to get the market up running as quickly as possible, it’s critical we take the time to get it right.”

In New Jersey, the recreational marijuana law directed the state to begin sales Feb. 22 – six months after rules and regulations were to be established by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission.

The state started taking business applications in December and, earlier this month, approved Florida-based Metrc to manage its seed-to-sale tracking system.

But Jeff Brown, the commission’s executive director, said there are obstacles to launching next month, including a lack of municipal buy-in, NJ.com reported.

“There’s still a lot to be done,” he told NJ Cannabis Insider. “Feb. 22 is not a concrete date to open.

“There is no firm commitment on timing of when recreational sales will begin.”

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Industrial officials have maintained that marijuana supplies are sufficient to serve both medical and adult-use markets.

But the state so far disagrees.

Brown said “supply continues to be an issue.”