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Department of State

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Lt. Governor and Secretary of State

New Jersey Cannabis Advocate Named as Consultant to Build No-Cost Cannabis Technical Assistance Program

Trenton, NJ - The New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC) has selected Jersey City attorney Jessica Gonzalez and her firm, Veridis Quo LLC, as its consultant to develop and launch the NJBAC Cannabis Technical Assistance Program and Training Academy.

Gonzalez has been in the forefront of New Jersey’s campaign to legalize recreational cannabis and has successfully guided entrepreneurs through the application process. She has served in leadership positions with national cannabis associations: the International Cannabis Bar Association and Minorities for Medical Marijuana as well the Minority Cannabis Business Association’s policy committee. In addition to being a cannabis champion, Gonzalez is a devoted advocate working on behalf of marginalized groups to be able to enter the highly competitive industry.

“We’re excited to take the next step to make New Jersey’s Cannabis Training Academy a reality for applicants in the social equity, legacy, Impact Zone, diverse-owned and micro-business categories,” said NJBAC Executive Director Melanie Willoughby. “Jessica’s experience as an attorney, educator and advocate is a tremendous advantage to get this no-cost technical assistance off the ground as quickly as possible,” she said.

Gonzalez and her team will provide foundational start-up support, to be replaced by a permanent Executive Director later in 2023.

The New Jersey Business Action Center is housed in the Secretary of State’s Office.

Jessica Gonzalez Bio:

Jessica Gonzalez currently serves as a Cannabis and Trademark attorney as well as a cannabis adjunct professor. Jessica led the social impact committee for NJ CAN 2020, the coalition that ran the most successful cannabis legalization campaign in the country. Through her advocacy work, Jessica has helped shape cannabis policy on the statutory, regulatory, and municipal levels in New Jersey. As a cannabis attorney, Jessica has assisted clients navigate the legal cannabis industry in the areas of trademark and state licensing applications.

Jessica has been recognized as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People” in Cannabis by High Time’s Magazine, “Top 40 under 40 Rising Stars” by Marijuana Venture Magazine, designated as a “Cannabis Law Trailblazer" by the National Law Journal, awarded “Community Game Changer of the Year” by NJ Cannabis Media and recognized as one of the top 20 cannabis influencers in NJ three years in a row. Jessica was also named on NJBIZ’s Next Generation of Leaders List for 2021 for her work influencing cannabis policy in New Jersey. Jessica is also an alumni of the New Jersey New Leaders Council, a national organization that selects civic leaders in their respective fields. In 2022, Jessica was appointed Co-Director of the Student Committee for the International Cannabis Bar Association and previously was the Co-Chair of the Social Equity CLE series. She's been quoted and featured in numerous media outlets such as New York Times, Rolling Stone, NJ Law Journal, Cheddar, and the Cannabis Business Times.


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