In April of this year, New Jersey officially began licensed sales for recreational cannabis use. In only 3 months, consumers and cannabis users have set a new milestone for sales, with the projected market being poised to become one of the largest on the East Coast. In the coming year, annual sales are already projected to top $2 billion, with the industry continuing to grow and thrive.
New Jersey’s adult-use cannabis companies have recorded nearly $79.7 million in total sales between April 21 when sales began and June 30. This includes nearly $1.9 million in recreational sales on the debut store openings when New Jersey recreational sales launched with a dozen stores.
Previously, New Jersey attempted to legalize cannabis during the 2018 to 2019 state legislature session, but the bill was denied. In 2020, the referendum was placed on the voting ballot for citizens, and in January of 2021, an amendment to the state constitution legalization marijuana for recreational and medicinal use. After a string of disagreements between the state’s governor and legislature, the legalization was pushed back for a month, until Governor Phil Murphy signed a number of decriminalization and cannabis related bills into law on February 22, 2021.
After a year of companies and growers cultivating, producing, lab testing, and perfecting their products, sales for recreational use cannabis officially began in April of this year, and citizens were quick to show their support after a long wait. Initially, only 7 dispensaries were approved for recreational sales, all of which were already medicinal marijuana dispensaries. Due to the expected demand, however, the state realized they would likely need at least a few more locations, and by opening day, 13 dispensaries were approved for recreational launch.
Currently, all New Jersey consumers over 21 years of age are allowed to purchase up to one ounce of dried flower, 5 grams of concentrates, resins, and oils, and up to 1 gram total of edible cannabis products. Consumers are not allowed to grow or cultivate their own plants, and driving while under the influence is strictly prohibited.
Business regulations are also strictly enforced, and consumers will not see or hear any commercials or radio advertisements outside of the strict hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 am. All employees must be over the age of 21, and businesses must mask odors and partake in local community discussions with at least one person present to respond to any complaints from local residents. Packaging must be childproof with no cartoon characters or trademarked characters that might be appealing to anyone under 21.
If you choose to travel to New Jersey, make sure you know and understand the local laws and regulations surrounding cannabis use. Have fun, stay safe, and enjoy the high!