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NJ Cannabis Insider produces premium, exclusive weekly content and monthly events geared toward those interested in the marijuana and hemp industries. Here are the headlines in Issue 128, published on Aug. 20. To subscribe, visit njcannabisinsider.biz

Forum: Cannabis Legalization & Your Town

Join the NJ Cannabis Insider on Aug. 25 at 10:30 a.m. for the livestream symposium, “Cannabis Legalization and Your Town” presented by The BGIll Group. Moderated by NJ Cannabis Insider’s Justin Zaremba, the program will feature introductory Q&A with the head of the state’s cannabis program at the Department of Health, Jeff Brown.

This forum will count on industry power players who’ll answer questions about the rules and regulations currently in place as it pertains to serving medical patients as well as what’s ahead after adult-use/recreational cannabis is legalized, if voters approve the November ballot referendum.

The 90-minute session is designed to help inform city leaders and stakeholders on what their best options are ahead of legalization. The event is open to the public. To reserve tickets, visit https://njcannabisinsider.nj.com/wp/conferences/

A look at the cashless payment options dispensaries are using.

Some dispensaries — including Curaleaf, the state’s largest medical cannabis operator — have found workarounds to allow medical marijuana patients more options than simply paying for their medicine in cash. But those workarounds still lack the simplicity of straight debit and credit transactions. 

At Curaleaf’s dispensary and Harmony up in North Jersey, customers are able to use a cashless ATM, as well as a regular ATM, to purchase their products. Customers simply input their card into the card reader and can process the transaction without cash, paying a surcharge of $2.25 for the transaction along with whatever service charge the customer’s bank charges for using an out-of-network ATM, said Bridgette Fonseca, Curaleaf’s director of dispensary operations. 

“This is something that patients have asked us before,” Fonseca said. “There’s something that they can use instead of bringing cash with them or going to an ATM.”  (By Justin Zaremba | NJ Cannabis Insider)

Read the full story by subscribing to NJ Cannabis Insider.

Tracking what cannabis companies are doing to improve diversity & inclusion.

The Black women who founded Cannaclusive in 2017 to promote BIPOC representation and defeat racist stereotypes took note of the social media messages companies posted lamenting the brazen murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer over the Memorial Day weekend.

They catalogued the pledges to make the cannabis industry more welcoming to people of color. If you don’t know about the Accountability List, you should — especially if you own, lead or work for a cannabis business in America. 

Cannabis consumers and industry players are invited to examine the racial makeup and actions taken by 323 companies (as of Aug. 17) toward building equity for people of color. Did they also contribute to legal defense funds to defend protesters? Do they have a paid social responsibility officer? It’s all there in the spreadsheet they pledge to update regularly.

“Companies are somewhat on notice,” Mary Pryor, a Cannaclusive co-founder and the chief marketing officer for two companies, Tonic CBD and Tricolla Farms in New York. “Some have started the conversation, some have not followed through.”(By Susan K. Livio | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

Read the full story by subscribing to NJ Cannabis Insider.

Poll: 55% of N.J. voters support taxing adult-use cannabis more than the state sales tax.

A new Brach Eichler Cannabis Poll, which sampled 500 registered New Jersey voters, found 55% supported taxing adult-use cannabis at a rate higher than the current 6.625% state sales tax, with 30% opposed. 

On Nov. 3, voters will decide whether or not to legalize cannabis for adults who are 21 and older, and it’s clear from the polling support remains strong — 66% of those polled support cannabis legalization, 27 % opposed and 7 % unsure, along with a high degree of awareness of the upcoming vote — 71 % to 29 % who were unaware. 

“Most people don’t favor higher taxes, but we believe this reflects both an awareness of the fiscal needs of the state, as well as an understanding that other states that have legalized cannabis have imposed taxes and surcharges of up to 25%,” said Charles X. Gormally, co-chair of Brach Eichler’s cannabis law practice that commissioned the poll. (By Justin Zaremba| NJ Cannabis Insider)

Read the full story by subscribing to NJ Cannabis Insider.

The D.C. Report: What does the Dem platform mean for federal legalization?

As proposed by the task forces comprised of supporters of presidential nominee Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Democratic platform approved during the party’s national convention talks about decriminalizing and rescheduling cannabis on the federal level, not legalizing it.

That doesn’t sit well with advocates of legalization.

“Rescheduling of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act would continue to make the federal government the primary dictators of cannabis policy, and would do little if anything to address its criminal status under federal law,” Erik Altieri, executive director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said when the plank first was proposed. (By Jonathan D. Salant | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com) 

Read the full story by subscribing to NJ Cannabis Insider.

Opinion: Will a Kamala Harris vice presidency be good or bad for legalization?

Since the announcement of Senator Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s VP pick, there has been a lot of speculation within the cannabis community as to whether it’s a good or bad sign for federal legalization efforts.

Many point to her years as a prosecutor and attorney general and the many thousands of arrests for cannabis possession under her watch. Others explain that she was just doing her job and that her more recent sponsorship for legalization initiatives is where she will remain.

Personally, I don’t think it will make a big difference to the inevitability of legalization at the federal level. 

Regardless of who wins, we will see historical movement at the federal level in 2021. The voters overwhelmingly support legalization and our economy will demand new streams of economic opportunity.  (By Scott Rudder, president of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association)

Read the full story by subscribing to NJ Cannabis Insider.

NJ Cannabis Insider is a weekly subscriber-based trade journal produced by NJ Advance Media, which provides content to NJ.com and The Star-Ledger. Learn about NJ Cannabis Insider and its monthly live events and forums here.

For more information, you may reach us via email here.

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