N.J.’s CRC reverses decision to deny Curaleaf’s license renewal

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission last Thursday voted not to renew state marijuana business licenses for Curaleaf Holdings, a surprise move and one that the Massachusetts-based company vowed it would fight.

That fight, however, never got any legs, as the CRC on Monday reversed itself and voted to approve Curaleaf’s adult use cannabis licenses. That came in the wake of a protest outside the CRC’s offices in Trenton.

The CRC board’s said its decision to deny Curaleaf’s adult use license renewals was due to the company’s failure to properly notify it about layoffs as it prepared to shut down one of its two Garden State cultivation sites, where it would lay off approximately 40 workers.

“I think it’s important for the board to have staff at large to have proper insight and timely notice of major changes to facility operations,” CRC Chair Dianna Houenou said prior to the reversed decision on Monday. “It seems there’s still a lot of information missing that should be provided, and that should be done in a way, in a manner that is forthcoming and transparent.”

Without a license, Curaleaf’s approval for recreational sales would have lapsed April 21 at two of its three locations, Bellmawr and Edgewater Park.

“Today’s decision by the CRC board to vacate their unprecedented action last week is an incredible victory for our 500 New Jersey team members and vindication for what we knew all along: Curaleaf is in good standing with the CRC and has fulfilled every requirement necessary for the renewal of our licenses. I am incredibly proud of and grateful to every one of the hundreds of dedicated team members who showed up today, not just for their jobs and livelihoods, but for a better, safer cannabis industry in New Jersey,” Curaleaf CEO Matt Darin said.

In previously attempting not to renew Curaleaf’s adult use licenses, the CRC board had disregarded the commission’s staff recommendation to renew Curaleaf’s adult use licenses and the fact that the company has no pending violations.

As part of the approval, Curaleaf will be providing the commission with additional information regarding its labor practices and confirm its ongoing compliance with New Jersey law.

“This decision by the board is a victory for Curaleaf, a company that has proudly generated tens of millions of tax dollars for the state, invested upwards of $75 million more to support its cannabis industry and supplied cannabis products to nearly all of New Jersey’s licensed dispensaries, including social equity license holders. Curaleaf remains open for business and will continue working collaboratively with the CRC board and its staff to ensure our good standing in the state of New Jersey,” Curaleaf Chairman Boris Jordan said.