The Huge and Unexpected New Challenge Facing the NJ Weed Industry

The legalization of adult marijuana in New Jersey made Governor Murphy a hero when he used it as a campaign mainstay in his first run for governor. I don’t think he realized how complicated it would be and how long people would have to wait for it to happen.

But government mismanagement and bureaucracy are what New Jersey is famous for, after all. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that we encounter another obstacle in the way.

As if there weren’t enough hurdles to get the New Jersey weed industry off the ground, here’s one you might not even be aware of: space.

It’s so simple. We are in a crisis when it comes to space for the manufacturing and growing plants that the industry needs. According to an article by Real Estate New Jersey, there are several crucial factors causing space shortage.

Photo by CRYSTALWEED cannabis on Unsplash

Photo by CRYSTALWEED cannabis on Unsplash

First of all, space is already limited to less than a third of municipalities in New Jersey since last year, when cities required to declare whether they wanted to participate in the industry or not and did not what to enroll.

Moreover, finding space is even more complicated due to the technical aspects necessary for cultivation in culture. For example, you need very specific power, ventilation, and plumbing requirements.

The article goes on to explain that because marijuana is still federally illegal, many landlords are reluctant to lease their properties to the industry due to the murky legal aspect.

On the other hand, trying to buy facilities can also be difficult, as lenders are also caught in the quagmire of federal law versus state law and may not want to be put at risk by the ramifications of that.

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Being so close to New York and Philadelphia, the article says, presents a challenge for New Jersey that other states where adult use is legal do not have. We have huge demand from these cities due to our proximity to them and we are a small state to begin with.

Where are we going to put all these facilities that the demand would require?

Simply put, it will be a nightmare trying to grow the industry if there isn’t enough physical space to do so. And in an already stretched real estate market, it will be interesting to see how growers and producers rise to this challenge.

For this industry to grow here in New Jersey and meet the demand, we may soon see a weed treatment plant in every industrial park in every municipality in New Jersey that has not yet retired.

The views expressed in the above post are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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