Aiming to counteract potential barriers to ownership of medical cannabis dispensaries and other types of alternative treatment centers by minority and women entrepreneurs in New Jersey, Democratic Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-Union) sponsored a bill to revise certain restrictions on these businesses.
Current law prevents any entity from holding more than one permit for a medical cannabis cultivator, manufacturer or dispensary.
Democratic Assemblyman Jamel Holley
Under the bill (A-5179), investors who significantly assist someone applying for a medical cannabis dispensary permit would be allowed to hold up to 35 percent interest in up to seven medical cannabis dispensaries – provided those businesses are minority, woman or disabled veteran-owned.
Business owners would be required to pay back the financial assistance they receive from an investor within a period of time determined by a sliding scale system based on the size of the loan.
The measure specifies that ownership would not revert to the investor if the business were to default, but it will make capital available to women, minority and disabled veteran entrepreneurs that might be shut out of economic opportunities if they cannot get investors to back them.
The Cannabis Regulatory Commission would also be permitted to review the agreement between the business owner and investor to ensure the terms are commercially reasonable and consistent with fair market value.
Upon the Assembly Health Committee advancing the legislation on Wednesday, Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer, Hunterdon) and Holley issued a joint statement explaining their proposal.
“Lack of access to capital is one of the biggest barriers women, minority and disabled veteran entrepreneurs face