Credit: Photo by Alesia Kozik:

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) approved conditional licenses for 68 businesses applying to manufacture or cultivate recreational marijuana in the state. Of the 68 applicants, 33 are Black-owned businesses, according to’s NJ Cannabis Insider. This is a marked improvement over the two of 56 medical use licenses the government awarded to Black-owned businesses, which prompted the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) to issue a clarion call for justice for Black businesses in the recreational marijuana space.

“We were heard and appreciate the equitable level of Black businesses that were granted an opportunity to participate in the recreational cannabis industry in our state,” remarked John E. Harmon, Sr., IOM, Founder, President and CEO of the AACCNJ. “We value our partnership with the State of New Jersey, and the recent decisions by the CRC reflect what is possible when a shared vision is realized.”

A conditional license gets the awardees closer to obtaining an annual license, which requires a more comprehensive application process. The AACCNJ will keep a watchful eye on the entire process to fruition.

“There is more work to be done for sure, but this recent news is a step in the right direction,” added Harmon. “In the absence of a statewide disparity study, CRC’s continued transparency and sharing of demographic information about applicants and awardees remains critical to ensure equity in a market that is expected to reach $2 billion in sales by 2025 by most estimates.”

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