“I know a lot of New Jerseyans have been waiting for today, including yours truly,” Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said in front of a line of customers waiting to get into the Verano dispensary. “This is a moment I’m incredibly proud to see us get to.”
New Jersey voters approved a legalization referendum at the ballot in 2020, and stakeholders have been eagerly awaiting the implementation of regulations that the legislature enacted last year. Now, 13 existing medical cannabis dispensaries are open for business for adult consumers.
Murphy acknowledged the protracted implementation, stressing that regulators have prioritized ensuring that the state’s marijuana industry is equitable and supports communities most impacted by criminalization.
“While this task could not happen overnight, the overriding need was to ensure our industry could stand as a model for other states in the nation—not just ensuring racial, social and economic equity and justice, but in ensuring a viable long-term framework for the industry at large,” the governor said.
“Today’s launch of adult-use sales is an important milestone,” he said. “Today is the start of an entirely new industry in our state.”