N.J.’s cannabis business community gathers as state readies permits to grow and sell

Posted Jun 05, 2021

By NJ Cannabis Insider staff

EDITOR’S NOTE: NJ Cannabis Insider is hosting a two-day business and networking conference June 8-9, featuring some of the state’s most prominent industry leaders. Tickets are limited.

As another medical marijuana dispensary opened Friday in New Jersey — and two more slated to open in the coming weeks — the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission hinted earlier this week that 24 new medical licenses may be awarded sooner than later.

For nearly two years, a lawsuit shutdown the review process for more than 150 applications from companies to grow, process or sell cannabis, but we may be seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

Dianna Houenou, chair of the CRC, said Tuesday the group “is working diligently and as quickly as it can to finish the scoring for those applications.”

At the same time, municipalities have until Aug. 21 to opt-in or out of allowing cannabis businesses, just as the CRC is expected to roll out rules and regulations governing the cannabis industry.

Against that backdrop, hundreds of motivated business leaders in the state’s cannabis space will meet next week for the state’s biggest virtual conference and networking event. Presented by Hance Construction, NJ Cannabis Insider’s event takes place June 8-9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., featuring strategic networking sessions built around the speakers and panel discussions, focusing on building relationships with municipalities, building teams to succeed, and building the facilities to grow and sell. Purchase tickets here.

Featured speakers include:

  • Dasheeda Dawson, cannabis czar for the City of Portland, Oregon, founder & chair of Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition, chief strategist for CHEM, and best-selling author.
  • Edmund DeVeaux, president of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Assn. and is a lobbyist with Burton Trent Public Affairs.
  • Janice Kovach, Clinton Township mayor and president of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.
  • Arthur Hance, founder and president of Hance Construction, Inc. which provides material erected, turnkey construction management and general contracting services to the industrial, commercial and cannabis markets in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
  • George Irwin, founder and president of Green Living Technologies International, LLC (GLTI) and GLTCannabis (NJ), Irwin is recognized around the globe as the leading authority of agriculture technology. For two decades, Irwin has pioneered technology in the design and manufacture of green roofs, green walls and vertical farms.
  • Alixon Collazos, a public affairs specialist working with The BGill Group, a full service public affairs, political consulting and digital media firm. She recently worked with GTI-NJ to open Rise Paramus. She is also executive board member at the New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center.
  • David Serrano, a decorated U.S. Navy veteran, a pioneer in the cannabis industry, and a fierce advocate for social and environmental justice. He is the founder and chief of Business Development at Harvest 360 and H360 Labs.
  • Dwayne D. Warren, mayor of the City of Orange and chair of the Committee on Cannabis at the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association (NJUMA), where he is also vice president.
  • Colleen O’Hara, the Northeast key account manager for Signify, formerly Philips Lighting
  • Heather Kumer, an attorney at Vicente Sederberg, Kumer is an LEED-accredited professional in Building Design and Construction.
  • Hugh Giordano, a union representative and organizer for UFCW Local 152.
  • Jennifer Roselle, an attorney at Genova Burns LLC, where she is part of the Cannabis Law Group.
  • Connie Bertussi, executive vice president of Human Resources at Justice Cannabis Co. (formerly known as Justice Grown), a multi-state operator, including licenses in New Jersey and Pennsylvania
  • Chirali Patel, an attorney at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, founder of Blaze Responsibly and an executive board member of the Cannabis Law Committee New Jersey State Bar Association.
  • Jessica Gonzalez, a cannabis and intellectual property attorney at Bressler Amery & Ross, as well as outside general counsel for Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Inc. Gonzalez also sits on the Policy Committee for the Minority Cannabis Business Association and the is the Social Equity CLE co-chair for the International Cannabis Bar Association.

The program will also include recorded remarks about regulations and municipalities from an executive of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission. At least 60 minutes of focused networking sessions are built in each day. The virtual networking “floor” will consist of roundtables, hosted by sponsors and partners.

  • Hance Construction was selected to build one of the first cannabis grow facilities in New Jersey, and has since worked on other medical cannabis projects, offering consulting and site-location services.
  • Supreme Security Alarms, New Jersey leaders in the security space, providing custom designed, state-of-art systems to protect your business.
  • Green Living Technologies International, founded in South Jersey with offices around the country, GLTI is global leader in environmentally-controlled indoor vertical farming. GLTCannabis has utilized its patented Vertical Cultivation System technology to revolutionize the cannabis and hemp industries, with organic cannabis production that yields up to 10 times the traditional bench techniques, higher CBD /THC profiles and dense terpene profiles.
  • Harvest 360 is a cannabis consulting company that specializes in application preparation and licensing management, working to reduce barriers of entry for communities most impacted by the War on Drugs.
  • New Jersey Cannabis Trade Associationrepresents the permitted operators in New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program. NJCTA was formed to protect affordable access to medicinal marijuana for New Jersey’s roughly 100,000 registered patients during and after the state’s transition to an adult-use market. NJCTA is our social equity partner for this event.
  • The BGill Group, a government affairs, public relations and digital communications firm that has been front and center on the development of the Garden State’s effort to expand and improve the existent medical cannabis program while supporting a sensible, just and highly regulated adult use marijuana.
  • Weedmaps, a leading technology and software infrastructure provider to the cannabis industry, is an online marketplace to discover and explore products and brands, and to find dispensaries and doctors.
  • Signify, formerly Philips Lighting, offers grow lights to help medicinal cannabis and hemp growers improve production speed and quality, and manage energy costs and grow climates. With 130 years of lighting experience, growers around the world are using Philips brand lighting with medicinal cannabis and hemp crops, as well as greenhouse food, lettuce and leafy greens, and ornamental crops.
  • Vicente Sederberg, a national cannabis law firm providing legal and policy services to marijuana and hemp companies, ancillary businesses, investors, governmental bodies, and advocacy organizations.
  • Genova Burns, through its Cannabis Law group represents clients in the cannabis, hemp and CBD industries from the earliest stages of development. The firm is uniquely qualified to advise investors, cultivators, processors, distributors, retailers and ancillary businesses.
  • Stockton University, the interdisciplinary minor in Cannabis Studies offers students a foundation for understanding the burgeoning cannabis industry.
  • New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, a state agency offering financial incentives, programs, and services for New Jersey residents, business owners, and local governments to help them save energy, money, and the environment. Integrate energy efficient, new technology into your buildings and equipment upgrades, make your facilities more efficient and receive big dividends on efficiency investments.

NJ Cannabis Insider’s social equity partner for June is the New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association, who is sponsoring tickets for 20 qualified social equity applicants as well as producing a series of educational virtual events around essential topics, such as choosing the right location, dispensary, cultivation and manufacturing plans, regulatory compliance and more.