TRENTON, NJ (SBN) – 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.
You can hear SBN News Director Steve Lubetkin’s exclusive conversation with Gonzalez about her new role in the audio player below.
“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 microbusiness 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.
Steve Lubetkin is the news director for StateBroadcastNews.com. Steve’s journalism background includes print and broadcast reporting for NJ news organizations. He refocused on multimedia journalism and podcast production after a long career in corporate branded journalism and public relations.
He has won numerous awards for his audio and video news reporting from the Garden State Journalists Association, and he has also been recognized for video by the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has produced a wide range of audio and video podcasts in his other role as managing partner of State Broadcast News’s parent, The Lubetkin Media Companies.
Steve is co-author, with Toronto-based podcasting pioneer Donna Papacosta, of the book, The Business of Podcasting: How to Take Your Podcasting Passion from the Personal to the Professional.
In March 2021, he was elected to the board of directors of the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and in July 2021 he was named secretary of the chapter. In August 2021, he was honored by SPJ with one of the organization’s 2021 Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Awards, given to regular members of an SPJ chapter who go above and beyond in serving their chapter.
Steve has been the computer columnist for the Jewish Community Voice of Southern New Jersey, since 1996.
Steve also has reported on-camera and produces virtual conferences for NJSpotlightNews.org, a public policy news coverage website focused on New Jersey government and industry; and for clients of StateBroadcastNews.com, a division of The Lubetkin Media Companies LLC.
From May-November 2019, he produced and reported a weekly podcast, The CRE News Hour, a news and features program focusing on the commercial real estate industry.
From 2014 to 2019 he was New Jersey and Philadelphia editor for GlobeSt.com and filled in covering Chicago/Midwest and Atlanta.
Steve has also served (from August 2017 to March 2018) as national broadcast news correspondent for CEOReport.com, a news website focused on practical advice for senior executives in small- and medium-sized companies.
Earlier in his career, Steve reported on rock music at the Jersey Shore for the Asbury Park Press, and was a broadcast news anchor and production engineer for WJLK-AM & FM, then owned by the Press. He also worked as a general assignment reporter for the Red Bank Register, Shrewsbury, NJ.
You can email Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org.