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New Jersey dispensaries got the go-ahead to start selling legal, recreational marijuana in April. And since then, New Jersey cannabis sales have been booming. Currently, 16 New Jersey dispensaries offer recreational marijuana to enthusiastic recreational consumers.

With the NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s open call for license application, we expect to see more New Jersey dispensaries springing up in the coming months.  

So, what is the backstory behind the New Jersey recreational marijuana 2022 buzz? It’s been over a decade since the Garden State’s medical marijuana program (MMP) was in place; why did it take so long for recreational marijuana to get in the picture?

Let’s take a look at history and the current New Jersey marijuana updates you should know.

Marijuana in New Jersey: A Shaky Start

NJ is one of the first states to pursue medical marijuana legalization, with former governor Jon Corzine eventually signing the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA) into law on January 18, 2010. Then, NJ became the 14th state to legalize medical marijuana.

However, the thrill was short-lived when then-incoming governor, Gov. Chris Christie, stalled the program after he took office the following day. 

It was not until 2012 that the state opened its arms again to the use of medical marijuana via the state’s medical marijuana program. However, the provisions were stringent, and the impact of the medical cannabis industry was very limited in the state.

In 2018, the state started deliberations on improving the marijuana program, and on June 2, 2019, Gov. Phil Murphy signed the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act (referred to as Jake’s Law).

The pursuit and eventual signing of Jake’s Law ushered in some significant changes in the overall cannabis sphere. Although various senators had introduced different marijuana bills previously, it was on the heels of the proceedings surrounding Jake’s Law that the more impactful deliberations for recreational weed NJ legalization peaked in intensity.

Brief Timeline of New Jersey Recreational Marijuana 2022 legalization

In November 2018, the New Jersey Senate and Assembly Judiciary Committees voted to have legislation that would permit the use of recreational cannabis in the state. The proceedings spanned through various sessions in 2019 but were unsuccessful.

However, things took a brighter turn when the state legislature resolved on December 16, 2019, to place a referendum to legalize adult-use weed on the 2020 ballot. The referendum was known as Public Question 1.

On November 3, 2020, 67% of participating New Jersey voters voted “Yes” on Question 1. This approved the amendment of the state constitution and allowed adults 21 and older to purchase and use recreational marijuana legally.

On January 1, 2021, the amendment became part of the constitution, and on February 22, 2021, Gov. Phil Murphy signed it into law after addressing a few blurry lines in the amendment. 

Despite the legalization and the allure of New Jersey cannabis sales, the CRC had a delay in the implementation of policies and approval of licenses.

On April 21, 2022, the coast became clear, and New Jersey dispensaries commenced operations.

Since then, the media has been lit with New Jersey marijuana updates. Let’s step away from history and take a look at the New Jersey marijuana updates that matter. 

New Jersey Cannabis Sales

Starting with 12 New Jersey dispensaries, the state recorded a great start in the industry with $24.2 million in sales in the first month. This averaged to about $5 million per week.

The New Jersey Monitor reported that the sales from the first day alone neared $2 million with purchases from over 12,000 consumers. Advocates observed that if there were more dispensaries to cater to the customers throughout the state, the figures would have been much more than was racked in. 

There are hopeful projections that the NJ recreational weed market segment will eventually become a $2 billion industry.

Cannabis Sales Channel Significant Revenue for the State

At first, there were fears that medical cannabis sales would dwindle as recreational cannabis sales kicked off. However, both market segments are performing amazingly well, with medical sales remaining stable.

It is not looking like medical marijuana sales will dwindle anytime soon. Instead, we might be experiencing favorable price changes in the market. After all, the state intends to impose a 0% tax on medical marijuana sales made on and after July 1, 2022.

On the other hand, the state imposes a 6.625% sales tax on every sale of recreational cannabis and recreational cannabis products. Additionally, there is a social equity excise fee of one-third of a percent on all sales and other local and excise taxes that might apply across the counties.

An average consumer spent $153 apiece on marijuana on the first day of New Jersey cannabis sales.

The New Jersey recreational marijuana 2022 sales strides put the state on track to becoming a $2 billion market in 2026. These numbers were projected by MJ Biz Factbook.

New Jersey Dispensaries: Where to Buy Recreational Marijuana in NJ

New Jersey cannabis sales have been booming from day one, thanks to the few dispensaries currently licensed to serve the eager consumers. 

The state has now permitted 16 New Jersey dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana to consumers.

To facilitate the commencement of recreational cannabis sales in New Jersey, the CRC removed the “medical only” rule for some existing medical cannabis dispensaries that showed they could provide enough medical and recreational supply to cater to up to 100,000 consumers and patients. Hence, all 16 dispensaries have sections for recreational users and patients.

You can legally purchase weed for recreational use from any of these dispensaries. Nevertheless, remember that recreational weed is legal for adults 21 and older only. It is illegal to purchase weed and offer it to younger individuals.

The licensed dispensaries include:

  1. Ascend dispensary in Rochelle Park
  2. Cura Leaf dispensary in Bellmawr and Edgewater Park
  3. Garden State Dispensaries in Eatontown, Union, and Woodbridge
  4. Rise dispensaries in Bloomfield and Paterson
  5. The Apothecarium dispensaries in Maplewood and Philipsburg
  6. The Botanist dispensaries in Williamstown and Egg Harbor Township
  7. The Cannabist dispensaries in Deptford and Vineland
  8. Zen Leaf in Elizabeth and Lawrence

More New Jersey Dispensaries to Spring Up

As the New Jersey cannabis sales appear to be stabilizing, enthusiasts are calling for more dispensaries to be situated across the state to allow access to more consumers. Hence, you are likely to be seeing more recreational weed dispensaries in New Jersey

New Jersey marijuana updates from the CRC indicate that the state is working hard to provide a fair playing ground to allow small businesses to get a footing in the industry.

The state’s attempt at social equity and fair industry provides certain advantages for entrepreneurs registering as a minority and/or women-owned businesses and veterans. Also, the state is attempting to streamline its application reviewing processes to make it more transparent and favorable for qualifying businesses—big or small.

All things in place, you will be seeing more dispensaries close to you before the year runs out. The state encourages you to apply for a license if you have what it takes to run a successful cannabis business. 

Purchasing Weed from Dispensaries in New Jersey

Before tapping into the New Jersey recreational marijuana 2022 buzz, you must know that while we have listed 16 dispensaries, there are a few more out there. It is important to note that the above is not a list of all the dispensaries in New Jersey and that not all dispensaries sell recreational marijuana.

For instance, we listed two Cura Leaf dispensaries selling recreational marijuana, but there is a third in Bordentown that only sells medicinal marijuana.

The listed dispensaries have in-store sections: one for medical marijuana and the other for recreational marijuana. Implicitly, you can only purchase recreational marijuana from the recreational marijuana section of these dispensaries. Also, you can’t buy recreational weed from strictly medical cannabis dispensaries. 

LEARN MORE: New Jersey Marijuana Laws | How to Become a Caregiver in New Jersey

Know the Purchase and Possession Limits

Some consumers go to the dispensaries with a lot of enthusiasm and then get disappointed when they find out they can’t just purchase a sack of herbs, hang it over their shoulder, and head home.

Currently, NJ cannabis laws only allow New Jersey cannabis dispensaries to sell a limited amount of usable cannabis to adults 21 and older. The CRC rules allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess a 1-ounce total of cannabis and cannabis products. 

In addition, you have to show your ID at the point of purchase.

Having more than the specified amount on your person at any given time puts you on the wrong side of the law, and you risk getting arrested.

You can’t purchase bud seeds from any of the dispensaries in New Jersey because the NJ cannabis law does not permit recreational and medicinal users to cultivate weed at home.

However, the law allows patients to purchase and possess up to 84 grams (3 ounces) — three times the recreational limit — of medical cannabis from approved dispensaries within 30 days. There are no monthly limits for patients who are terminally ill.

There are more cannabis products available to medical users, especially potent, high-CBD content cannabis products and more quality cannabis grown in controlled environments specifically for medicinal use.

If you or your young one has a qualifying medical condition, it would be best to opt for medical cannabis. Click here to learn more about how to access medical marijuana in New Jersey. 

Elevate Holistics: New Jersey Marijuana Updates You Can Use

At Elevate Holistics, we are dedicated to providing patients and recreational cannabis consumers with the most relevant and authentic cannabis information. Are you looking to access NJ medical marijuana? Are you a patient finding it hard to access medical marijuana or don’t know how to go about it? We are here for you!

We can help you with guided access to NJ MMJ. Through Elevate Holistics, you can get your New Jersey medical marijuana card and other associated services at an affordable rate via a seamless process.

Contact us now to book an appointment with a board-certified medical marijuana physician and get the best of medical marijuana care.

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About the author

Ally Hilbert is the Content and SEO Manager here at Elevate Holistics, working to publish and run Elevate’s blogs and landing pages, as well as conduct keyword research, competitor analysis, and more. After having brain surgery at the age of 17, Ally became fascinated with medical cannabis and its benefits, and, at 18, had her first CBD-related piece published. Today, she’s been writing about cannabis for the past six years, and simply can’t think of a better company to get to do it for. When she’s not writing or editing, Ally’s side-by-side with her pup Sadie in Seattle.
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