Volume 13 Issue 6 - Thursday, April 21, 2022

Legal Marijuana Sales in NJ to Begin Soon, Accetolla selected as new Executive Director, Senate Majority Office, Murphy Appoints New BPU Commissioners & more 

Legal Weed Sales in NJ to Begin Soon

The beginning of recreational marijuana sales in New Jersey is now only a few weeks away, as the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission on Monday approved the applications of seven medical marijuana dispensaries, formally known as alternative treatment centers, to also sell adult use marijuana.

The operators given the green light by the CRC to begin selling recreational use cannabis to adults are: Acreage, Curaleaf, Columbia Care, Verano, Ascend Wellness, GTI and TerrAscend.

The approved centers and their satellite shops will be the only facilities selling cannabis initially to both the medical and recreational market in the Garden State until smaller cultivators given conditional approval by the panel can get their operations moving.

The CRC also approved another 34 conditional licenses for smaller cultivators and manufacturers to grow crops and build out their facilities. That adds to the 68 approved on March 24, but it could take up to a year for these operations to begin selling marijuana.

Accetolla selected as new Executive Director, Senate Majority Office

On April 18th, Kevin Drennan will end his tenure as Executive Director of the New Jersey Senate Majority Office. Drennan had worked in the Senate for most of the last decade and served as former Senate President Sweeney’s top staffer from 2014 to 2017, and again since 2018.

Senate President Nicholas Scutari announced that Alison Accettola will replace Drennan as Executive Director.

Accettola, the general counsel to the Senate Democrats since 2015, had also been the top staffer to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Scutari was the longtime chairman.  She had spent eight years as a state public defender before Drennan hired her to work in the Senate in 2015.

“Alison Accettola is a talented attorney who possesses a strong understanding of the Legislature,” said Scutari. “Alison has the skills and abilities needed to advance the policies of the Senate Democrats as we work to address the priorities of the people of New Jersey. My Senate colleagues share my confidence in her judgement and professionalism.”

Murphy Appoints New BPU Commissioners

Earlier this week, Governor Murphy nominated Somerset County Democratic Vice Chair Zenon Christodoulou and former Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg (R-Medford) to serve as commissioners of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

They will replace Commissioners Upendra Chivukula and Diane Solomon, who were unsuccessful in seeking new terms on the BPU.  Their terms had already expired and they are serving on holdover status.

Christodoulou will replace Chivukula, a former Democratic assemblyman from Somerset County.  Gregg will take the seat of Solomon, a South Jersey Republican and the wife of New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Lee Solomon.

“Zenon and Maria will provide valuable insights and skills to further our mission of transitioning to a 100 percent clean energy future while ensuring reliable and affordable utility services,” said Murphy.  “I am confident that their leadership and commitment to New Jersey will be valuable assets at BPU.”

New Legislator Profile: Assemblyman Reginald W. Atkins (D-20): Assemblyman Atkins was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly in November 2021 and serves on the Assembly Community Development & Affairs Committee, Human Services Committee and Labor Committee.

Prior to being elected to the Assembly, Atkins served as Councilman, Council President and Mayor of Roselle and served on the Roselle Board of Education.