At 9 a.m. on Friday, the doors finally opened for legal weed sales at Zen Leaf Neptune, the 18th medical marijuana dispensary in New Jersey to begin recreational marijuana sales and just the second retail pot shop in Monmouth County.
“It took a little longer than we anticipated but, if we were going to do it, we were going to do it right — the first time,” Neptune Mayor Nick Williams said. ”This highway (Route 66) leads to four major highways. This location will bring people in here to get the product, get out of here and back on the road.”
Transitioning Zen Leaf Neptune into recreational sales had been part of Verano's strategy long before it ever opened. Emails from Verano executives to Neptune officials as early as October 2020 included estimates of the dispensary's tax benefits both as a medical and recreational establishment, and Verano executives on hand for the medical marijuana dispensary's April 2021 opening said "that's what we do in every market."