Cannabis: Four questions with Guillermo Artiles of McCarter & English on opening day of recreational-use sale in N.J.

Guillermo Artiles

Guillermo Artiles

McCarter & English

Chair, Government Affairs & Cannabis practice groups


The sale of cannabis for recreational use finally is here. Did the long delay help the state or hurt the state when it comes to establishing itself in the business of cannabis?

“It’s net neutral in terms of helping or hurting the state, but it did beat neighboring New York to the cannabis punch, which was and is key. This is a regional issue and one where we can lead, like many other issues of late, including sports betting and gun control.”

For those just getting interested in getting into the cannabis business space, whether it be growing, distributing or selling, is it too late? What would you advise someone who is looking into a venture today?

“It’s not too late to get involved. While the state has been at it for some time, everyone should be playing the long game here. Cannabis is going nowhere, regardless of politics, so everyone with the requisite skillset and interest should do their due diligence and get involved.”

Do you think the regulations will create an equitable market, one where underserved communities have a fair chance to succeed, as Gov. Phil Murphy has wanted from the beginning? If not, what rules/regulations would you add to meet this ideal?

“The market is still young and will only become more equitable over time.”

Give us one more thought on the cannabis industry in New Jersey?

“Be patient. As a state, we will get it right. Gov. Phil Murphy and the Cannabis Regulatory Commission are dedicated to getting it right — and they will. It’s not easy establishing an industry from scratch. That’s what’s happening right now.”