On Thursday, adult-use marijuana sales will become legal in the Garden State — opening the doors to what analysts believe could be a $2 billion market by 2025. It’s been a long wait for New Jersey’s proponents of recreational cannabis: Voters in the state first approved a ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana sales in Nov. 2020, and Gov. Phil Murphy signed the bill into law in Feb. 2021.
Delays in establishing a regulatory framework for the industry have left consumers waiting more than a year for the moment when anyone over the age of 21 can walk into one of the state’s dispensaries and walk out with legally purchased cannabis.
And after such a long wait, New Jersey’s dispensary owners are expecting Thursday’s launch to have something of “a celebratory aspect to it, for sure,” Joe Bayern, CEO of cannabis company Curaleaf, tells CNBC Make It. “People just want to be part of the experience and learn and come from an educational standpoint, to see what it’s all about.”