May 2024 Regional Cannabis News: Developments in NJ, NY and PA

Each month, Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition (CWCBExpo) offers a convenient roundup of the biggest cannabis news stories and hemp headlines emerging across the Northeast. Get these updates in your inbox by subscribing to our email newsletter, or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter (now X) to get the most recent edition when it’s published.



What’s new in Northeast cannabis? Although we’re just two short weeks from CWCBExpo 2024, where you can hear from the industry’s leading experts in person on the latest, get up to speed as you get your walking shoes and business cards ready to roll.



New Jersey senators approve bill for cannabis regulators to oversee intoxicating hemp-derived products



New Jersey senators approved a bill, NJ S3235, that would extend the oversight of cannabis regulators to include intoxicating hemp products. The proposed legislation would establish regulations for the production and sale of hemp products containing less than 0.5 mg THC per serving, effectively bringing them under the purview of the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC)


Under the new bill, these products would be exclusively sold in licensed dispensaries alongside cannabis. The legislation also seeks to amend the existing NJ Farming Act to impose limits on THC content in hemp products.


“The main intent… is that there is a phenomenal amount of unregulated, unlicensed, untested cannabis products on gas station shelves and convenience store shelves, and they don’t go through any regulated process.” said Scott Rudder of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association about the legislation. “Teens have access to this, and this bill attempts to capture that to prevent that.”



New Jersey bill would allow state officials to cap medical cannabis prices



NJ Sen. Troy Singleton (D-7) introduced legislation that would grant the CRC the power to implement price caps on medical cannabis products if necessary. Modeled after Pennsylvania’s statute, the bill empowers the commission to intervene when prices are deemed “unreasonable and inconsistent” with actual costs, allowing for price adjustments at six-month intervals.


The price of medical cannabis has long been an area of focus for patient activists in the state. New Jersey’s medical cannabis prices were among the highest in the United States for several years. While they have decreased since adult-use cannabis stores began to open, average prices are still higher than they are in other states.


Chris Goldstein of NORML, who tracks cannabis prices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania dispensaries, said it’s been difficult to watch legal cannabis in other states become more affordable while NJ’s prices remain sky-high.


“Unfortunately, we’ve been sold the same promises for almost 13 years that prices would come down, and there was more competition and more businesses, but the same businesses have been here the whole time, and prices remain remarkably similar,” Goldstein said to Marijuana Moment.



NYC Mayor Eric Adams orders the closure of 75 unlicensed cannabis shops



A joint task force led by the New York City Sheriff’s office led to the closure of 75 unlicensed dispensaries in New York City, totaling more than 3,800 violations and nearly $6 million in civil penalties.


Called “Operation Padlock to Protect,” the joint operation between the NYPD, the sheriff’s office, and the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) conducted 150 inspections across four days in early May. The results of the operations were announced on May 14th.

While not insignificant, the enforcement efforts are a drop in the bucket. According to city agencies, there are an estimated 8,000 unlicensed cannabis shops across the five boroughs.



PA GOP senator says the state is ‘getting close’ to legalization



Senator Dan Laughlin (R-49) asserts that the Keystone State is edging closer to the long-awaited legalization of cannabis. However, Laughlin emphasizes that achieving this milestone requires collaborative efforts from key stakeholders, urging House and Senate leaders to engage in constructive dialogue with the governor to reach a consensus.


Speaking at a rally organized by ResponsiblePA, Laughlin joined forces with Senator Sharif Street (D-3) and other advocates to champion the push for legalization. He highlighted regional dynamics and recent federal rescheduling actions as catalysts for momentum, but noted that the Pennsylvania legislature is still several steps away from more action.


“We’re getting close, [but]…I don’t think we’re going to get this done until the leaders of the House and Senate sit down with the governor of Pennsylvania and work it out,” Laughlin shared.



Get the latest IRL at CWCBExpo



CWCBExpo is your premier destination to learn straight from the industry’s top experts. Stay informed and connected with the most current news and insights through our comprehensive coverage — and don’t miss out on learning in person at our June 2024 conference.


Scroll to Top