The cannabis company that counts John Boehner as an adviser is hitting the Garden State.
Acreage Holdings has signed a letter of intent to join forces with one of only six companies that are licensed to grow and sell medical marijuana in New Jersey. The state is attractive because of its limited number of industry operators, its friendly governor and its proximity to population centers, according to Acreage President George Allen.
“Everything about the state is fundamentally attractive,” he said. “They’ve got six operators servicing 9 million people and they’ve got among the highest prices for cannabis in the country. We are going to turn that around.”
The deal comes after Governor Phil Murphy expanded the list of conditions for which medical marijuana can be recommended for patients. Murphy, a Democrat, has also included $80 million in tax revenue from fully legalized pot in his budget for the year starting July 1. And while he’s said he aims to achieve full legalization this year, the state legislature will have to push those efforts forward.
Boehner, the Republican former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, last month joined the advisory board of Acreage, which cultivates, processes and dispenses cannabis in 11 U.S. states. The move was considered a watershed event in the evolution of marijuana in the U.S. because nine years earlier Boehner had said he was “unalterably opposed” to legalization.
If New Jersey fully legalizes marijuana, it will be only a matter of time before the state’s larger neighbor follows suit, according to Acreage Chief Executive Officer Kevin Murphy.
“As goes New Jersey, so will go New York,” he said.
Acreage is pairing up with Compassionate Care Foundation, which is currently the largest growing facility in the the state, according to the companies.