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420 with CNW — New Jersey Lawmaker Introduces Bill Seeking to Cap Medical Cannabis Prices

State officials in New Jersey acknowledge the concerns raised by medical-cannabis patients regarding the steep prices of marijuana products. However, the officials stress their limited authority under existing laws, which grant them no jurisdiction over the pricing policies of dispensaries.

Democratic legislator Senator Troy Singleton is looking to neighboring Pennsylvania for inspiration. Pennsylvania’s medical-cannabis law includes a provision allowing state authorities to impose price limits if marijuana prices become exorbitant. Singleton aims to replicate this provision in New Jersey, proposing a bill that would empower the state’s cannabis regulator to impose price limitations on medical-marijuana providers if their pricing practices are deemed unjustifiably high relative to their operational costs. The limits would be revisited every six months.

Singleton underscores the pressing issue of exorbitant cannabis prices in New Jersey, particularly for medical users. Price caps, in his opinion, can create market pressure and, as a result, result in lower pricing for customers.

Chris Goldstein, an advocate for cannabis reform who closely monitors marijuana prices in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, draws parallels between the pricing dynamics of marijuana and other commodities. He expressed concerns about corporate greed driving prices upward, noting that despite promises of increased competition bringing prices down, prices have remained stubbornly high in New Jersey.

Critics such as Goldstein attribute the high prices to corporate groups controlling the majority of the cannabis industry in New Jersey. Most cultivators are corporate entities, leaving only a few independent players.

Comparing prices, it’s evident that marijuana is considerably cheaper in Pennsylvania than in New Jersey. For instance, an eighth at Ascend in Fort Lee costs $65 (or $50 on sale), while the same amount is $15 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Likewise, an eighth at Bordentown’s Curaleaf costs $60, whereas in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, it’s only $32.50.

Cannabis and disability activist Edward “Lefty” Grimes draws attention to the disparity in cost between legal dispensaries and the traditional market. The high cost of extracted marijuana oil, or “dabs,” is one of his points of contention, as it is far cheaper in the legacy market.

Goldstein laments the persistently high prices of marijuana in New Jersey compared to other states, suggesting that these prices deter people from enrolling in the medical cannabis program. Grimes believes that price-fixing laws are a workable way for legislators to guarantee that individuals suffering from illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), multiple sclerosis and cancer may obtain inexpensive marijuana products.

While Singleton has championed various bills aimed at reforming the marijuana sector, he acknowledges the challenges of passing such legislation in the legislature. Although the price cap bill has yet to progress, Singleton remains committed to advocating for more accessible pricing in the market.

While the entire cannabis industry including major companies such as TerrAscend Corp. (TSX: TSND) (OTCQX: TSNDF) wish that patients and other users get the marijuana products they need at the most affordable prices possible, the wish to put price caps may be concerning given the rapidly changing market conditions on the ground and the slow rate at which regulators respond to such changes.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of an article each business day at 4:20 p.m. Eastern – a tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. The 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. 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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