The New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association (NJCTA), one of the state’s leading trade organisations, says that a lack of enforcement, thriving illicit market, and overregulation are killing the local legal cannabis industry.
A new report from the association claimed that the industry was stuck in a ‘doom loop’, and that other smaller states which launched adult-use sales around the same time had managed to bring in significantly more tax revenues.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the group took aim at the slow actions of the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC), which has only allowed 37 adult-use cannabis shops to open since legalisation in April 2022.
The report also argues that tax income of just $20.1m by the end of 2022 was well below other state markets such as New Mexico, which brought in $36.6m during the same period despite having a much smaller population.
The NJCTA told the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Not only are we fighting against the illicit market with our hands tied behind our back because of regulation, but when you can’t even offer the same products, then there’s no choice for [customers] to patronise your stores.”
In response, CRC Director Jeff Brown said that the industry was ‘poised for long-term success’, predicting that sales will top $1bn in 2023.