New Jersey adult use biz applications open • Illinois cannabis regulator jumps to MPP • & more…

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New Jersey regulators are flooded with cannabis business interest on day 1. 

The Cannabis Regulatory Commission announced that nearly 500 business accounts had been created in the first four hours of applications being open on Wednesday. And, by 1 p.m., the portal was “averaging 155 new users per hour.”

“We are happy to reach this milestone,” said CRC executive director Jeff Brown, in the announcement. “Applications are coming in, the platform is performing well, and we can officially mark the launch of the state’s recreational cannabis industry. Getting cultivators, manufacturers, and testing labs licensed and operating will set the framework and establish supply for retailers who will start licensing in March 2022.”

+ More: Read Cannabis Wire’s coverage of New Jersey’s path to legal adult use sales.

From Illinois cannabis regulator to MPP. 

The Marijuana Project announced yesterday that Toi Hutchison, who was Illinois’ top cannabis regulator, is now headed to MPP where she’ll serve as the group’s president and CEO. Steve Hawkins is now devoting his time to the U.S. Cannabis Council, instead of pulling double duty between the two. 

This marks the second time that a state’s top cannabis regulator has moved on to helm a cannabis organization. The first was Andrew Freedman, who oversaw the launch of legal cannabis sales in Colorado, and this year launched CPEAR. Unlike Freedman, however, Hutchison moved to MPP directly from her role overseeing cannabis in Illinois.

Illinois to award $45 million in cannabis tax revenue as grants. 

In January, Cannabis Wire reported on the very first allocation of cannabis tax revenue as part of Illinois’ Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) Program, which was established in the state’s adult use law. At the time, the Illinois Criminal Information Authority awarded grants totaling $31.5 million, to programs working to lift up communities most harmed by the enforcement of cannabis laws. 

This week, Gov. JB Pritzker announced that in the second round, $45 million will be awarded. This increase in funding is due to an increase in cannabis tax revenue as the R3 program represents 25% of that revenue.

More New Jersey adult use biz applications open • Illinois cannabis regulator jumps to MPP • & more…