Initially, a handful of sites already operating as medicinal dispensaries will be able to expand into the adult-use market. So far, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) has approved 13 dispensaries, known officially as Alternative Treatment Clinics (ATCs), for recreational sales. The sites are run by seven operators including Acreage Holdings, Ascend New Jersey, Columbia Care, Curaleaf, Green Thumb Industries, TerrAscend, and Verano Holdings.
Residents of the Garden State voted to legalize recreational cannabis sales in November of 2020 when they approved New Jersey Public Question 1. Regulations have been slow to take shape since and the future of adult-use sales remained unclear even as recently as a few weeks ago. Last month, the CRC delayed approving medicinal shops for recreational sales. CRC executive director, Jeff Brown, cited several factors for the delay including a possible supply crunch. In particular, Bown expressed concern that recreational sales could siphon critical supply for medicinal patients. At a meeting last month, Brown said he believed dispensaries were approximately 100,000 pounds short of enough cannabis to support both recreational and medicinal sales.
Brown now says he has met with the organizations that have received approval and believes they have proven they have enough supply for both adult-use sales and the state’s 130,000 registered cannabis patients. The 13 dispensaries will be subjected to a final round of assessments by the CRC and will be required to pay licensing fees before sales can legally begin.