Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey- Acreage Holdings, a cannabis producer that brought on former Speaker of the House John Boehner last month, is planning a major expansion in New Jersey.
Acreage will be partnering with Compassionate Care Foundation (CCF) in Egg Harbor Township located on New Jersey’s south shore. The partnership was struck in order to double CCF’s cannabis production.
Kevin Murphy, CEO of Acreage, is looking to drive down the price of cannabis and feels that some patients struggle to afford their medication.
Acreage formed in 2011 as High Street Capital Partners and has been pushing hard to achieve a national profile. Hiring John Boehner and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld may go a long way toward accomplishing their goal. Boehner and Weld are putting pressure on federal authorities to reschedule cannabis. Currently, cannabis is a Schedule I narcotic, considered to have no medicinal benefit and to be just as dangerous as heroin and LSD in the eyes of federal officials.
Boehner and Weld are also pushing for lower tax rates for cannabis businesses. Some cannabis companies face tax rates of close to 70 percent. Typical tax deductions taken by most businesses are usually off limits to cannabis companies.
Acreage has also struck an agreement with Optimus Partners, one of New Jersey’s most well known political consultants to lobby state officials.
The partnership with CCF represents Acreage’s first deal in New Jersey. Acreage already has a large presence elsewhere in the northeast and operates in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland.
Murphy is expecting demand for cannabis to rise in New Jersey and feels increased production will be needed. Newly elected Governor Phil Murphy (no relation to Kevin Murphy) made cannabis legalization a major platform of his campaign and analysts are predicting that New Jersey could be one of the next states to legalize recreational use.
Kevin Murphy revealed that Acreage has acquired a 135,000 square foot greenhouse in Sewell to increase CCF’s production. Currently, CCF operates an 85,000 square foot facility in Egg Harbor Township.
“We will probably need all that capacity, and then some, given the size of the state and the fact that there are now only six licensed providers in the entire state,” Murphy said. “It’s not necessarily guaranteed to evolve into an adult use [recreational] market. Even if it remains medical, given the governor’s desire to broaden the scope of qualifying ailments, it would still be a huge success for us,” Kevin Murphy told Philly.com.
CCF started operations in New Jersey in 2013 but has not been as successful as some of the other cannabis companies in the state. The partnership with Acreage could possibly change that.