Dispensary operators in other states will have an advantage in New Jersey

SOURCE: NJ CANNABIS INSIDER
JUSTIN ZAREMBA

When it comes to obtaining a license and operating a retail dispensary, insiders say those companies operating in other states will have an advantage in New Jersey.

“As with every state, it’s a bit of a gold rush,” said Randy Maslow, president of iAnthus, which has holdings, operations and partnerships in six states. “Multi-state operation will have a lot of success.”

“We don’t want to go with some untested company who has never gone in those shark-infested waters before,” said Jack Teitelman, CEO of Titan Group, a security firm in the cannabis sector.

Kevin Murphy, CEO of Acreage Holdings, which has operations from 13 states in its portfolio, said states looking to move toward a full adult-use market should adopt a “crawl, walk, run approach.” 

“Generally, a state will look to legalize medical cannabis, and develop an understanding of the business from its oversight and from there to transition to adult-use,” Murphy said.

And if legalization takes root in the Garden State, Maslow believes it’ll have a domino effect in the Northeast.

“If New Jersey passes adult-use legislation, I think it is going to put a lot of pressure on New York and Pa. to follow because of the lost tax revenue,” he said. “Why would you want that to happen?”

Maslow noted one of the prime benefits of having a regulated market was to “to disintermediate the black market” and reduce access to minors.

Insiders point to Denver, Colo., where it’s estimated that 70 percent of the cannabis sold is in the state-regulated market, substantially diminishing the black market.

Moreover, in a regulated market, dispensary owners card customers, unlike purveyors of cannabis on the black market.