Murphy Says Cannabis Industry Will Fuel NJ’s Economy As He Begins 2nd Term


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In his State of the State address and second inaugural address this month, Governor Phil Murphy said he looks forward to the number of jobs the cannabis industry will create in New Jersey.

Those who follow the fledgling industry closely say Murphy’s recognition of the cannabis industry was a sign that he sees it as an economic driver in terms of jobs and tax revenue.

On Jan. 18, during Murphy’s second inaugural address to a small audience at the Patriots Theater at War Memorial, the governor said cannabis was among the business sectors “fueling New Jersey’s innovation economy.”

Specifically, “new cannabis industry companies we’re building in the name of social justice.”

Seven days earlier, in his state of the state address, Murphy said of adult-use cannabis, “There are a lot of jobs waiting in the cannabis industry to take off.”

Murphy signed the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance and Marketplace Modernization Act, also known as S-21, about a year ago.

Neither the Governor’s Front Office nor the Cannabis Regulatory Commission could provide concrete numbers on the total number of jobs expected. But S-21’s main sponsor and incoming Senate Speaker Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, said the numbers would be strong and Murphy’s words in the two high-profile speeches were reassuring.

“Hopefully this year we will see a successful rollout of the legalized cannabis market,” Scutari texted NJ Cannabis Insider.

Others have estimated that the new industry has the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs, including in cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and sales.

“It’s great to hear Governor Murphy’s continued enthusiasm and enthusiasm for the cannabis experiment,” said attorney Bill Caruso of the law firm Archer & Greiner. “He has been a dedicated champion of cannabis both in improving patient access and in creating new jobs and revenue.”

Caruso, who led NJ CANN 2020, which campaigned for approval for Question 1 of the ballot in the November 3, 2020 election, said Murphy was sticking to his overall theme of New Jersey as the state of opportunity for cannabis.

“The governor and his administration are working to ensure that there are opportunities for everyone in the emerging cannabis industry – opportunities for large multi-state operators and small cannabis entrepreneurs, including and in certain cases by prioritizing women, minorities and ex-offenders,” Caruso said. “2022 is shaping up to be a huge year for cannabis in New Jersey.”

The Cannabis Regulatory Commission was created last year to provide the regulatory framework for the industry, including licensing through an ongoing competitive application process. The next CRC public meeting will be on January 27th. It is scheduled to open applications for dispensary licenses on March 15.

Edmund DeVeaux, president of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association, is thrilled that Murphy delivered on his campaign promises when he first ran for governor in 2017 on a platform that included legalizing cannabis in adult use.

“He never wavered in his support of the state’s cannabis industry once during his first term, even when the Legislature struggled to pass meaningful legalization legislation,” said DeVeaux.

“Now, at the start of his second term, Governor Murphy is reiterating his support for what the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association believes it is, and is working with the state’s cannabis community to achieve: Responsible, Sustainable, Diverse, and Profitable Cannabis. . industry.

“Governor. Murphy knows what we hope (that) most, if not all municipal leaders understand: the regulated cannabis industry can be an economic engine for physical redevelopment, job training and job creation,” said added DeVeaux.

Lynn Nowak, executive vice president of Porzio Governmental Affairs, a subsidiary of the Morristown law firm Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, worked for years on the legalization of adult cannabis as an adviser to NJ United for Marijuana Reform , and was a member of the NJ CANN 2020 Steering Committee.

“While Governor Murphy always emphasized the racial and social justice reasons for legalizing marijuana, he was also mindful of the economic benefits a new industry will bring to the state,” Nowak said in an email. “Without a doubt, we are talking about tax revenues. But beyond that are the jobs that will be done by retailing, growing, manufacturing, and delivering marijuana.

“And there will be increased needs for workers in ancillary businesses that will be fueled by the cannabis economy, from architects and contractors to construction trades and security,” Nowak added.

Scutari wants to see S-21’s vision come to fruition and said Murphy’s words in both speeches were reassuring.

“Hopefully this year we will see a successful rollout of the legalized cannabis market,” Scutari wrote.

Adam Goers, senior vice president of corporate affairs at Vineland-based Columbia Care — one of the state’s alternative treatment centers (ATCs) that provides cannabis as medical care — said Murphy knew what was going on. Game.

“This industry creates a lot of opportunities for everyone,” Goers told NJ Cannabis Insider.

“It is significant. We predict, in a short period of time, that this will represent $250 million to $350 million per year in tax revenue, at least, for New Jersey.

“As soon as we go,” he said.

This story first appeared in NJ Cannabis Insider.

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Suzette Parmley can be attached to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter: @SuzParmley

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