New Jersey Regulators Reverse and Renew Curaleaf’s License with Conditions
On April 17, 2023, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (“CRC”) gave the green light for Curaleaf’s recreational cannabis license renewal, after initially rejecting the company’s license renewal due to compliance issues.
The CRC initially rejected Curaleaf’s renewal for two of its three New Jersey locations: Bellmawr and Edgewater Park. Its Bordentown location was unaffected. The CRC provided several reasons for its initial rejection of renewal:
(i.) Curaleaf’s closure of one of its growing facilities that laid off over 40 workers;
(ii.) the company’s clash with unionization efforts; and
(iii) Curaleaf’s lack of transparency by leaving out certain information on its renewal application.
Curaleaf quickly mobilized against the non-renewal, and its workers protested this decision in Trenton.
Just a few hours after the Trenton protests, the CRC reversed the non-renewal and renewed the two licenses, albeit with conditions. CRC’s chair, Dianna Houneou, stated that before the next meeting, on June 1, 2023, Curaleaf must complete several requirements. The company must provide evidence that it is bargaining with union employees in good faith, attest to its activities and tactics under oath, provide records regarding plans to modify its operations in New Jersey, and provide information on the criteria it uses to hire employees and vendors.
If Curaleaf does not satisfy these conditions by the next CRC meeting, the CRC can issue fines or license revocations.
This matter comes amid growing scrutiny of the cannabis industry in the United States. As more states legalize cannabis, regulators are paying greater scrutiny to compliance issues. Curaleaf's experience in New Jersey is a reminder that regulatory compliance is critical to success. This matter shows the CRC is increasingly willing to exert its authority to achieve its vision of an equitable cannabis market in both manufacturing and employment of workers.
For information about national and state cannabis law matters and regulatory compliance, please contact our Cannabis Law Practice Group attorneys: William J. Beneduce, Esquire (email@example.com) or Benjamin P. Sheppard, Esquire (firstname.lastname@example.org), or contact our offices at (908) 722-0700.