New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission has approved a significant expansion of the state’s edibles market, overturning a previous ban on popular THC-infused products like baked goods. The ban had restricted non-smokable cannabis products to items such as syrups, pills, tablets, capsules, and chewables. However, with the recent decision, a broader range of ingestible cannabis goods will become available, beginning in December. To meet the anticipated demand, the commission has initiated the process for manufacturers to obtain production waivers.
Simultaneously, during the same meeting, the commission issued substantial fines to two prominent multistate cannabis operators, TerrAscend and Columbia Care. TerrAscend was fined $100,000, while Columbia Care received a $50,000 penalty. These fines were imposed for various rule violations.
CRC Chairwoman Dianna Houenou recommended the six-figure fine for TerrAscend, citing concerns that the company failed to provide all advertised cannabis products to medicinal patients. Houenou emphasized that aggravating and mitigating factors influenced the decision. She pointed out that TerrAscend had been informed of the problem in January but had not taken corrective actions, despite similar violations reported at multiple TerrAscend dispensaries. She concluded that this pattern indicated that the issue was not isolated and required appropriate penalties.
In response, TerrAscend acknowledged its commitment to compliance in New Jersey and noted that this was the company’s first violation in four years of operating in the state. The company stated that it had addressed the issue by refining product listing procedures, implementing IT improvements, and providing additional employee training to ensure compliance with the regulations.
Columbia Care’s penalty of $50,000 was imposed because the company had allowed its labor peace agreement to expire. Commissioner Krista Nash emphasized the importance of prioritizing labor issues in New Jersey’s cannabis industry and asserted that companies needed to maintain labor peace agreements to do business in the state.
These developments reflect ongoing efforts by New Jersey regulators to enforce compliance and ensure the safety and integrity of the state’s cannabis market. As the cannabis industry continues to evolve, regulatory bodies are taking proactive measures to address issues and maintain high standards within the sector.