New Jersey’s most influential cannabis entrepreneurs, local lawmakers and a state business agency will help kick off the year for the cannabis industry at a serious networking session on Jan.18 at Zeppelin Hall in Jersey City.

Jersey City has emerged as one of the state’s budding cannabis capitals, trying to get in as many entrepreneurs as possible. The city’s moves also come on the back of a mayor who many believe is contemplating a gubernatorial run.

In his much-anticipated State of the Sate Address this week, Gov. Phil Murphy mentioned cannabis as an emerging market that will help many.

“We are growing an entirely new and broad-based adult-use cannabis industry — an industry that is making room for women and minority small business owners,” Murphy said.

Jersey City Councilman Yousef Saleh, who has been one of the city’s most outspoken supporters of the industry, will answer questions during Q&A at the networking event, hosted by NJ Cannabis Insider, the state’s premier B2B publication and events group.

Saleh has said the importance of helping the city’s unlicensed cannabis market transition into an opportunity where they could put their skills to use legally.

“We should reach out to people or have intermediaries to show them the process,” he said. “There’s going to be a struggle, but the city needs to put together an effort.”

This year, industry insiders and outsiders alike are wondering what the market is going to look like now that the infrastructure has been set in place.

The state has made some important strides, creating a cannabis technical assistance program and a pilot program from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority..

Cannabis attorney, educator and advocate Jessica Gonzalez, who was recently named by the New Jersey Business Action Center’s Cannabis Technical Assistance Program and Training Academy, will also speak.

“My hope is we do matriculate a lot of students out of this program who are going to be better equipped to make good decisions on whether they want to enter the cannabis space and what kind of business they want to be in,” she told NJ Advance Media late last month.

The help has been much welcomed in the industry, but important questions of social equity, small business sustainability, capital and real estate are all pieces that continue to define the cannabis business in New Jersey.

Vendors and partners:

  • Insign, a turn-key solution for retail environments, is a family-owned and operated for over 30 years in New Jersey. From Design to fabrication and installation all under one roof, Insign delivers unmatched levels of quality thanks to an experienced and talented design team, as well as a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.
  • Stender is a family owned, promotional products supplier to the cannabis industry. While Stender is a new company, its parent company SHC Holdings recently celebrated its 50th year in business. Stender’s global sourcing, along with its fun and creative SWAG aims to leave an impression on anyone who receives a branded product.
  • New Jersey CannaBusiness Association, the Garden State’s largest trade group, operating as the state’s cannabis chamber of commerce.
  • New Jersey Business Action Center, which was founded 40 years ago, has helped a range of businesses, from wineries, apparel manufacturers and medical device suppliers. With its new Cannabis Technical Assistance Program, it will now work on helping entrepreneurs in the space.
  • Stockton University, the interdisciplinary minor in Cannabis Studies offers students a foundation for understanding the burgeoning cannabis industry. Stockton recently opened The Cannabis & Hemp Research Institute, which will research hemp cultivation and develop lab testing.
  • Cannabis Insider Jobs, in collaboration with NJ Cannabis Insider, is dedicated to helping individuals find a career in the cannabis industry, leveraging its digital presence through’s parent company Advance Local.

Saleh and Gonzalez will be among the speakers invited to talk, starting at 6 p.m., about the industry’s most pressing issues. Networking and the vendor space will open from 7-10 p.m. Price of admission includes two drinks and happy hour eats. Tickets are $125. The meetup takes place at Zeppelin Hall Beer Garden, 88 Liberty View Drive.

There are a limited number of tickets. For more information or to register for the event, go here.

NJ Cannabis Insider is a weekly subscriber-based online trade journal and events group produced by NJ Advance Media, which also publishes, The Star-Ledger and other affiliated papers. Are you interested in the N.J. cannabis industry? Subscribe here for insider exclusives. Follow us on LinkedIn.

By Antoni

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