NJCBA Announces Strategic Alliance with NJ Economic Justice Advocates to Ensure Minority Representation in NJ’s Cannabis Industry

By Published On: May 3, 2021Categories: Press Releases

The New Jersey CannaBusiness Association (NJCBA) today announced the formation of a strategic alliance with some of New Jersey’s most prominent economic justice advocates to ensure minority representation in the state’s emerging cannabis industry. Partners in the alliance include:

  • Camden Business Association
  • Essex County Latino Chamber of Commerce
  • Gloucester County NAACP
  • New Jersey State Chapter of the NAACP
  • Salvation & Social Justice
  • Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey

Working under the motto that good economic policy is the policy of inclusion, the groups are banding together to ensure that minorities, minority-owned and small businesses are not left out as the state’s cannabis industry expands. The organizations will share information, conduct business networking sessions, and provide the Cannabis Regulatory Commission and Legislature with ideas to help shape the cannabis economy in New Jersey.

“Whether potential license holders or general contractors or subcontractors, the state must ensure that people of color are part of the economic fabric of the cannabis industry that gets woven in the next few months,” said NJCBA President Edmund DeVeaux. “We have to hold non-minority license holders and contractors accountable for the inclusion of minority stakeholders.”  

“We have been collaborating with the NJCBA since the organization’s launch, but also ensuring our Camden community and constituents, which is 96% Black and Brown New Jerseyans, have voices with stakeholders, officials, and industry advocates throughout the State of New Jersey. It is incumbent of the NJCBA to stay engaged through partnerships and collaboration to ensure that this industry does not get built on the backs of the communities that have lost wealth, life, and liberties for decades. We call upon all diverse New Jersey community and legislative leaders to collaborate and ensure that those aforementioned communities are considered first, not last, in pushing for the economic equity of those who have been disproportionately impacted,” said Nichelle Pace, Vice President of the Camden Business Association.

“Aligning ourselves with the NJCBA makes perfect sense,” said Joe Hernandez, Vice Chairman of the Essex County Latino Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and who represented the Chamber in conversations with NJCBA. “We represent so many individuals, businesses, and communities that would benefit from responsible commercial practices. The NJCBA is the state’s only trade association that represents all interests in the cannabis industry. Most importantly, the NJCBA listened to what we had to say and responded, ‘we are here to help.’”

“We are excited about this alliance with the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association because we both advocate for a cannabis industry that will be inclusive and one that will support policies to protect members of disadvantaged communities from being shut out of this commerce,” said Loretta Winters, President of the Gloucester County NAACP. “We also support sensible regulations and tax policies that will ensure the cannabis industry remains a vibrant and diverse business sector for years to come in the State of New Jersey.”

“The SHCCNJ recognizes the many medical benefits derived from cannabis plants and welcomes new businesses to the State of New Jersey that will have a positive impact on the local and statewide business community, and in particular diverse businesses that need to be at the table,” said Carlos Medina, President and CEO of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey.

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