N.J. Approves 13 Dispensaries as Recreational Cannabis Sales Start Thursday

Jersey City Marijuana Dispensaries
This week, for the first time ever, marijuana will be legally available in New Jersey.

All New Jersey residents over 21 years of age will soon be able to legally buy marijuana and over a dozen existing medicinal facilities will get the first shot at sales to the public.

Governor Phil Murphy recently announced that recreational weed sales in New Jersey will officially begin on April 21. The move comes just about a year and a half after voters approved a public question during the 2020 election to legalize marijuana and create a state commission to oversee the cannabis market.

The public question passed statewide with more than 67% in support, making it the largest margin of victory for any statewide cannabis legalization ballot measure in U.S. history. The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission was created shortly thereafter and signed off on a plan last week to allow seven existing medical cannabis operators to also sell recreational pot at a combined 13 facilities.

New Jersey Marijuana Dispensaries
Map of all approved dispensaries (including medicinal-only ones) courtesy New Jersey Office of Information Technology.

The largest city that will have a legal cannabis dispensary is Paterson, as RISE Dispensary has been cleared to sell recreational pot out of their 3rd Avenue location. The company’s Bloomfield outpost was also cleared to start selling recreational pot.

Zen Leaf on Spring Street in Elizabeth, Union county’s largest city, has been given the go-ahead for recreational sales in addition to the company’s Lawrence outpost. The Apothecarium, who operate dispensaries in Maplewood and Phillipsburg, will also be selling recreational pot starting on Thursday.

Other operators who have been cleared for recreational cannabis sales include Curaleaf, who operate dispensaries in the rural enclaves of Bellmawr and Edgewater Park. The Botanist can sell marijuana out of their South Jersey facilities in Williamstown and Egg Harbor, as can Acsend in Rochelle Park, Columbia Care in Vineland, and The Cannabist in Deptford.

The two largest cities in the Garden State will have to wait a little bit for recreational cannabis dispensaries. Newark won’t have a licensed recreational facility by the time sales start this week and while Jersey City has seen a flood of cannabis-related applications and some approvals, all their proposed dispensaries have not secured go ahead from the state just yet.

While some municipalities have opted out of cannabis sales as is allowed under state law, others have already in some cases approved recreational cannabis dispensaries at the local level. Some of those facilities should start popping up in the coming months as further approvals are granted to recreational dispensaries at the state level.


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