New Jersey cannabis regulators on Monday said 13 medical marijuana stores, including seven in South Jersey, will be allowed to start selling recreational weed, possibly within weeks, giving millions of adults in the Philadelphia area local access to legal cannabis for the first time.
The closest locations to Philadelphia are in Bellmawr, Edgewater Park, and Deptford. The action comes 17 months after New Jersey voters approved legalization in a referendum. The delay had put the five-member Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) under growing political pressure to launch the state’s recreational cannabis market.
Jeff Brown, the commission’s executive director, said at a special meeting Monday that the medical marijuana companies, called alternative treatment centers (or ATCs), had presented convincing evidence that they could start recreational sales without disrupting access for the state’s 130,000 medical marijuana patients.
“Given that we’ve recommended safeguards for protecting patient supply, we don’t see any market-wide concerns with moving these ATCs forward,” Brown said.