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Applicant Urges New Jersey Cannabis Regulators to Not Forget Minority-Owned Businesses

She accused the CRC of using her as a “marker on its data set every month” but not awarding her a license.

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Dr. Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez of The Other Side Dispensary in Jersey City this week urged the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) to not forget minority-owned businesses during the licensing process.

Watch: CEN at MJBizCon: The Turbulent State of New Jersey's Cannabis Industry

Rodriguez expressed frustration with the process, accusing the CRC of using her as a “marker on its data set every month” but not awarding her a license.

“Throughout this painful two year process, I have been glorified, and heralded in the media for being a black and Latina, LGBTQ, disabled veteran operator,” she said. “I'm a Jersey resident, I have zero involvement with any MSOs, no FSA, no MSA, and I have tremendous business acumen, so I'm pretty much the exact type of candidate the CRC has described they wanted as an operator. Yet here we are, still without a license.”

Rodriguez claimed the CRC told her team the annual conversion process would take 15 to 27 weeks, but The Other Side is now 82 weeks from its initial submission date.

In the past two years, Rodriguez said her team has spent $150,000 in real estate holding fees and $75,000 on professional services, out of the $1.1 million it originally raised for the business. She described the act of paying for empty buildings as throwing money in the garbage.

“And for what? Because you all were ill prepared? Understaffed?” Rodriguez asked. “Understand that this is not just data, these are real lives. I quit my full-time job as a policy expert to pursue this process after also being medically separated from the Navy again, after 10 years of service.”

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