NJ adding 2 more recreational marijuana shops closer to you (Opinion)
If you saw the lines outside of the dispensaries near me, you would think they were giving stuff away for free. And guess what? The dispensaries near me are, so far, only allowed to sell medical marijuana.
So when I heard that two local dispensaries were given the green light to begin selling adult use, or recreational marijuana, I knew that there would be cheers all up and down New Jersey.
So here’s the story. According to an article on NJ.com, dispensaries in Montclair and Neptune Township were given the official OK on Monday night to begin selling adult weed as soon as Montclair awards a local business license and the Cannabis Regulatory Commission gives the Neptune dispensary the final OK.
Even though marijuana has been legal for some time now in New Jersey, it’s taking some time to iron out a lot of the details. That’s what we’ve come to expect from New Jersey, anyway, amirite? That’s why only 16 stores so far have been able to successfully begin adult-use cannabis sales here in the state. But after Montclair and Neptune Township start, which should be any minute now, add that to Lodi, the one drive-through facility which has already been approved, and there will be a total of 19.
It’s slow, but it’s happening. I have not been one to indulge in cannabis but friends who do have bemoaned the commuting distance that's too far from South Jersey or far North Jersey to procure their recreational weed. So Neptune’s Zen Leaf and Montclair’s Ascend are going to make it so much easier for people to buy what they want.
All Zen Leaf needs now are final state approvals, which are expected to be given Thursday during the New Jersey cannabis regulatory commissions meeting. If that happens, and it seems to be almost a certainty, I bet you’ll be able to get your weed there without a medical marijuana card by next week.
Montclair’s Ascend had a couple of more kinks for its approvals but also seems to be just days away from opening its doors for adult use marijuana sales, as opposed to just medical marijuana.
Like just about everything in New Jersey, it’s been a long journey filled with twists and turns and more bureaucratic red tape than anyone deserves, but we are no longer just on our way to legal marijuana. We’re actually here.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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