Earlier in November, voters in New Jersey voted overwhelmingly in favor of recreational cannabis. As such, New Jersey has joined the growing number of states that allow adult-use marijuana, with the amendment taking effect on Jan. 1, 2021. Soon after the 67.25% vote in favor of recreational cannabis, state legislators in Trenton started drafting the laws and regulations for the industry, and Gov. Phil Murphy made two appointments to the state’s newly formed Cannabis Regulatory Commission, which will oversee the medical and recreational cannabis industry.
Aide Dianna Houenou has been appointed to chair the five-member Cannabis Regulatory Commission. Gov. Murphy described her as “the right person at the right time,” stating that she is the kind of person who will ensure the Garden State’s nascent cannabis industry will be “equitable, fair, and inclusive of all communities.” She currently serves as senior policy advisor and associate counsel to the Governor and advises on policy issues regarding military and veterans, community affairs, as well as criminal justice and immigrants’ rights matters.
Born and raised in California to immigrants from Benin and France, Houenou moved to New Jersey four years ago to work with the ACLU as policy counsel, advocating for marijuana legalization as well as leading New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform. She was involved in the establishment of the state’s Office of New Americans and helped to advance criminal justice initiatives such as advancing civilian oversight of law enforcement officers.
Jeff Brown, the current assistant commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health, will work as the Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s executive director. He oversees the Division of Medicinal Marijuana, and under his leadership, the division has increased patient enrollment numbers from 17,000 to 95,000 and more than doubled the number of physicians and dispensaries participating in the state medical cannabis program.
Before joining the state Department of Health, Brown was involved with the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, specifically the expansion of Medicaid and the creation of health insurance exchanges. Murphy is excited about the new appointments, and responding to a recommendation by Senate President Steve Sweeney, he is set to appoint Krista Nash as the third member of the commission.
“Dianna has been a critical voice for social justice and equity on my team for the past year and a half after spending several years working on the fight to legalize marijuana with the ACLU. Her commitment to doing what is right and to leaving no one behind has powered our criminal justice reform agenda, and I am immensely proud that she will be continuing that commitment as chair of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission,” Sweeney said, regarding Houenou.
Cannabis companies are engaged in a variety of industry-related activities. For example, Pure Extracts Technologies Inc. (CSE: PULL) has carved out a niche for itself in the aspect of extracting cannabis and hemp compounds, and the company is also set to be a leading player in the functional mushroom and medical psychedelic space.
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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