📌 Legal marijuana reaches NJ milestone

📌 More than 100 dispensaries now open

📌 Adult-use recreational sales at most

New Jersey has reached a triple digit milestone in its legal marijuana efforts — more than 100 dispensaries have opened for business, nearly all including recreational sales for adult-use.

According to the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission, as of mid-February there were 50 dispensaries open to just recreational customers.

There were also 40 locations that served both adult use customers and patients enrolled in the NJ medical marijuana program.

UPDATE 2024: All NJ stores that sell legal cannabis

The number of recreational cannabis dispensaries continues to grow, since the first NJ adult use marijuana sales in April 2022.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

Another 12 cannabis dispensaries remained open exclusively to enrolled NJ patients.

Among several new recreational dispensaries that have opened for business in Hudson County is The Cannabis Place in Jersey City, which has launched free delivery service for a surrounding seven community radius.

“As the first Latino and service-disabled veteran dispensary to launch, we’re also the first union cannabis dispensary to launch in the state,”The Cannabis Place CEO Osbert Orduña told New Jersey 101.5.

He agreed that the journey to finally opening “has been a very challenging and difficult one,” combining the challenges of any small business along with the regulatory environment at all levels.

Orduña said he has already heard from other dispensary owners in NJ and other states — on the process of becoming a unionized shop.

“We believe that in addition to cannabis being something accessible to the public — those that work in the cannabis industry should have access to true living wages and an opportunity to actually have careers versus disposable jobs.”

Cannabis businesses have operating licenses in every NJ county and there was at least one dispensary in 20 of the state’s 21 counties, as of this month.

Those rates were despite 60% of NJ municipalities opting out of having local cannabis businesses, the NJ-CRC confirmed.

The Commission’s executive director, Jeff Brown, called the number a "major milestone."

“After having just 12 alternative treatment centers for more than eight years, we have seen a proliferation of businesses in the last two that clearly demonstrates consumer demand and the potential of the cannabis industry in New Jersey, " Brown said.

He added recreational cannabis sales hit $673.9 million in 2023, while medicinal cannabis reached $99.6 million for the first three quarters of last year.

“Dispensaries are not the only cannabis businesses opening,” Brown continued. “There are now more than 200 operating licenses in the state, including 23 cultivators and 15 manufacturers. With more businesses opening, we expect a competitive market that will be beneficial to consumers in price, product availability, and product quality.”

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