News from the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners

Shanel Y. Robinson, Commissioner Director Ÿ Sara Sooy, Commissioner Deputy Director

Melonie Marano, Commissioner Ÿ Paul M. Drake, Commissioner Ÿ Douglas Singleterry, Commissioner

 

Community Invited to Cannabis Town Hall & Job Fair at RVCC on June 22

BRANCHBURG, NJ – A Cannabis Town Hall featuring panel discussions with industry leaders and local and state legislators, a cannabis career fair, and an expungement clinic will be presented. The event will take place from 12 to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 22 in the Event Center at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) on Lamington Road in Branchburg.

This unique gathering combines an educational symposium with a job fair to shed light on the swiftly expanding cannabis landscape. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. and admission is free. Registration is optional at this link: https://bit.ly/3WTCVDa.

This event is sponsored by the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey (CMMNJ) in partnership with a variety of agencies. These include Canna Coverage Insurance Services, Project Clean Slate, Minorites for Medical Marijuana (M4MM), The Glory Firm, NJ Cannabis Consulting, Valley Wellness, Aunt Mary’s Cannabis Dispensary, Future Entheogenic Medicines, Visions and Pathways, and the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board (GRWDB).

“All community members are invited to attend the Cannabis Town Hall,” said Canna Coverage Founder and CEO, CMMNJ Board Member, and M4MM State Co-Director, Nichelle Santos. “It’s your chance to learn and discuss everything about cannabis in New Jersey. Whether you’re a seasoned advocate or just curious about the changing laws, this town hall is for you.”

In 2021, New Jersey became the 13th state in the U.S. to fully legalize marijuana, which expanded access to the drug beginning nearly a decade earlier when legal sales of medical marijuana started on Dec. 6, 2012. There are now more than 130 dispensaries opened in 20 of the state’s 21 counties, according to the N.J. Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC). The state recorded $201 million in adult-use cannabis sales in the first quarter of 2024, and CRC officials predict sales will top $1 billion this year.

Important Panel Discussions

During the June 22 Town Hall – the first of its type in Somerset and Hunterdon counties – a panel of experts will cover topics ranging from legalization updates to the impact these updates will have on local communities. These panel discussions present an opportunity to engage with like-minded individuals and get questions answered during four 40- to 45-minute talks. Topics include:

  • Building the Cannabis Ecosystem in Municipalities
  • Cannabis Tax Revenue: Economic Development, Workforce Development, Social Justice, Tracking and Measuring Accountability
  • Improving Health Outcomes through Medical Cannabis
  • The Psychedelics Market, Research to Retail

“I look forward to talking about improving health outcomes through the use of medical cannabis,” said CMMNJ Executive Director Ken Wolski.

The panel discussions, running from 12 to 4 p.m., will be preceded by vendor networking, and free pizza and water provided by United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW 360), which represents workers from across New Jersey who work in the cannabis industry’s entire supply chain. UFCW 360 Director of Organizing Hugh Giordano said, “We’re here to help workers secure better wages, protection from unfair discipline, and great benefits with a union contract.”

The Job Fair and Exhibitors
Vendors of cannabis-related enterprises will be part of a vendor-hall set up in the RVCC Conference Center. Among these will be multiple businesses with available job openings.

“The mission of the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board is to connect employers and job seekers in Hunterdon and Somerset counties” said GRWDB Director Paul Grzella. “We have been supporting businesses in this growing sector for the past few years, and this event presents a convenient opportunity to learn more about working in the cannabis industry at a dispensary, cultivation, or even in the compliance or insurance service.”

Valley Wellness, located at 407 U.S. Route 202 in Raritan Borough, is the proud holder of the title of New Jersey’s premier independently owned and operated cannabis dispensary.

“We organized a similar event last year, but at that time, no other dispensaries had opened yet. It’s truly exciting to have fellow operators like Aunt Mary’s joining us for these occasions,” said Valley Wellness CEO Sarah Trent.

Valley Wellness will be conducting impromptu interviews for various positions within their dispensary, alongside Aunt Mary’s who will be accepting resumes. You can secure your spot for an on-site interview by pre-registering via the QR code in this flyer or by this link: https://bit.ly/450lsej. Walk-ins are also warmly welcomed, and attendees are encouraged to bring their resumes.

In addition, Canna Coverage will be accepting resumes from experienced insurance professionals or college students who are interested in internships. Nichelle Santos said, “We have a great opportunity to reimagine healthcare with cannabis and psychedelics, and the high demand indicates we must scale our workforce to accommodate growth in the marketplace.”

Businesses interested in participating in this event as a one-time vendor or becoming a sponsor of ongoing cannabis-related events sponsored by the Coalition of Medial Marijuana can use the QR code in this flyer, or go to this link: https://bit.ly/3WTCVDa.

Expungement Clinic

The laws around Cannabis have changed dramatically. “Governor Murphy worked to decriminalize marijuana in 2021 as a step in the right direction to end the failed war on drugs against black and brown people that lead to mass incarceration and destruction of communities in New Jersey, said Santos.

“The Expungement Clinic being offered during the Town Hall is critically important to give people a second chance,” she added. Those who may have been convicted of a low level, non-violent cannabis offense, or may have a record for any type of arrest, can meet with attorneys to have a clean slate.”

The clinic will be led by Glory Law Firm attorney Valisha Desir and other attorneys on site. “We are here to help people overcome injustices and become productive citizens,” said Desir. “Many with a record face challenges with employment, housing, and voting, leading to homelessness and a downward spiral towards a life of poverty.”

Those interested in utilizing these services must pre-register by using the QR code in this flyer, or by using this link https://bit.ly/3wEUgoV.

Gaetano Lardieri is co-founder of Future of Entheogenic Medicines, M4MM state co-director, CMMNJ board member, The JUSTUS Foundation board member, and member of the UPENN Affiliate Scholars – PENN Psychedelics Collaborative. “He’s excited over this historic time with the end of prohibition, to move the needle forward and have New Jersey be a global leader for cannabis and psychedelics R&D and clinical trials.”

CMMNJ is a 21-year-old all-volunteer, non-profit, 501(c)(3) educational organization, led by Executive Director Ken Wolski. The mission of CMMNJ is to educate the public about medical marijuana. The goal of CMMNJ is to have safe and legal access to plant medicine for all qualified New Jersey patients.

CMMNJ was instrumental in getting the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act introduced into the New Jersey Legislature in 2005 and signed into law in 2010. Legal sales of medical marijuana in the state began on Dec. 6, 2012.

In 2023, CMMNJ’s Board voted to endorse psychedelic research and the safe use of psychedelics by supporting New Jersey Bill S2283, the “Psilocybin Behavioral Health Access and Services Act.”

CMMNJ’s current medical cannabis goals include home cultivation rights, insurance coverage, and hospital and institutional access.

 

Opportunity for Scholarships at Cannabis Town Hall & Job Fair
As a bonus, attendees will have the opportunity to enter a raffle and win one of two $500 scholarships for NJ Cannabis Certified. This 15-hour, five-module certificate course, conducted live via Zoom in partnership with RVCC and seven other New Jersey community colleges, is designed for individuals looking to kick-start their career in the cannabis industry or simply expand their knowledge. For details about NJ Cannabis Certified, visit https://njcannacert.com/.

Media Contacts:

 

Valley Wellness

NJ Cannabis Certified

Valleywellnessnj.com

njcannacert.com

Sarah Trent: email contact@valleywellnessnj.com

Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana           

Minorities4medicalmarijuana.org

jodeci@m4mmunited.org

Aunt Mary’s Dispensary                      

Auntmarysnj.com

Rocco Levine: email rocco@auntmarysnj.com

Canna Coverage

Cannacoverage.net

info@cannacoverage.net

NJ Cannabis Consulting

njcannabisconsulting.com

Nick Scalera, CEO: email nick.scalera@njcannabisconsulting.com

Glory Law Firm

thegloryfirm.com

Phone: 732-702-0895

 

Future Ethnogenic Medicine

fem108.comGaetano “Guy” Lardieri: email gaetanothcbd@gmail.com

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