The 12 permitted alternative treatment centers have formed the New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association ahead of the potential legalization of adult use cannabis by voters in November.

The group announced itself Thursday, with the “intention of keeping service of medical cannabis patients at the heart of the ATCs’ evolving operations.”

NJCTA Chair and Harmony Dispensary CEO Shaya Brodchandel said the group had been in the works for “quite some time,” unofficially created to respond to COVID’s effect on the medical cannabis industry and eventually formalized as a unified entity to share experiences with legislators working on enabling legislation for an adult use market.

The association is supportive of adult use legalization, and at the same time aims to “assure that the medical program maintains an adequate supply and access to patients who currently purchase on the market.”

The founding members of the NJCTA are Acreage Holdings, Ascend Wellness, Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center, Columbia Care, Curaleaf, Greenleaf Compassion Center, Green Thumb Industries, Harmony Foundation of New Jersey, iAnthus Capital Holdings, Justice Grown, TerrAscend, and Verano Holdings.

While some of the awardees from the 2018 RFA process haven’t opened up in New Jersey yet, they’re already operating in other states and “have a tremendous amount of experience in other states” to share with legislators and anyone interested in the perspective of current operators, Brodchandel said.

“The best way to put the program that will be effective and have the best outcome is to certainly take into consideration the experience of some states that have done it and operators that deal with it on a daily basis,” he said.

As more ATCs come online in New Jersey, the association will grow, available to vertically integrated and individual operators.

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