On September 27, 2017, Saiber attorneys attended the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association event at Galloping Hills Golf Course in Kenilworth, NJ. The event was a great opportunity for potential cannabis entrepreneurs to learn about the potential upcoming business opportunities in New Jersey from industry leaders. Over four hundred people were in attendance. The event was sponsored in part by Athletes for Care, an organization advocating for the careers of retired athletes, which in part advocates for medicinal cannabis. Former athletes Marvin Washington (New York Jets, Defensive End), Leonard Marshall (New York Giants, Defensive Lineman), Eugene Monroe (Baltimore Ravens, Offensive Tackle) and Riley Cote (Philadelphia Flyers, Left Winger) were present at the event and participated in panel discussions.
The keynote speech was delivered by Senator Nick Scutari (D-22, Linden), the author of the legalization bill, S 3195. Sen. Scutari stated that New Jersey was “on the precipice” of adult use legalization and that the “excitement is real,” but cautioned that the process was far from complete. Sen. Scutari reiterated that his goal for S 3195 was to have it ready for the first 100 days of the next administration. In order to get S 3195 to the next governor’s desk, Sen. Scutari will have to persuade New Jersey’s legislature. Sen. Scutari said that S 3195 does not presently have the necessary votes, but revealed there is a lot of private support for the bill in Trenton. He believes he will be able to turn that private support public, especially where recent polls suggest that as many as 60% of New Jersey residents support legalized adult use cannabis.
After Sen. Scutari’s keynote speech, the event broke off in to smaller panels that addressed (1) cultivation and processing techniques, (2) extract product and retain/dispensing, (3) cannabis as medicine and (4) ancillary cannabis investment opportunities. These break-away sessions allowed event attendees the opportunity to listen to brief presentations and participate in a follow up Q&A session.
While we believe that the event was a very useful tool for potential entrepreneurs, we could see from many of the questions that not all attendees were familiar with Sen. Scutari’s bill. We would encourage anyone that is serious about entering the New Jersey cannabis market to read Sen. Scutari’s bill or review this blog to gain insight into the proposed legislation and its functions. This will help you in your planning as you consider your place in this new, exciting industry.
Jeremy focuses his practice on regulatory and business law. He specializes in gaming-related corporate, regulatory, licensing and compliance matters. Prior to rejoining Saiber, Jeremy served as Executive Vice President, Regulatory & Business Affairs for Coastal Development, LLC, a developer, investor and operator in casino resorts and racetracks. In that role, Jeremy was responsible for the company’s legal affairs, government relations and compliance functions, as well as sourcing, negotiating and executing on a number of business transactions.