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New Jersey’s adult-use cannabis market is still getting going, but that didn’t stop a handful of licensed retailers grandfathered in from the medical program from recording more than a half billion dollars in cannabis sales for 2022.
With nearly $329 million in adult-use sales since the state's launch last April, and more than $226 million in medical sales, New Jersey’s licensed retail market cashed in $555 million altogether in 2022, according to recently released figures from the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC).
Ascend Wellness Holdings Inc. plans to launch adult-use cannabis sales at its dispensary in Fort Lee.
After the Fort Lee Planning Board memorialized its decision Nov. 14 to allow Ascend to begin operating as a cannabis retail establishment, the multistate operator announced it will start welcoming recreational-use customers Nov. 17 at its West Street shop.
Since opening the 3,400-square-foot dispensary in August, Ascend Fort Lee has served only medical cannabis patients while the company pursued the necessary state and local approvals to expand into retail cannabis.
In a Nov. 11 announcement, Miss Grass said its popular Minis collection is on sale at stores run by Ascend Wellness, Acreage Holdings (The Botanist), Columbia Care (The Cannabist) and Verano Holdings (Zen Leaf), with expansion to other dispensaries to come soon.
Ascend Wellness Holdings Inc., which recently opened recreational sales to the public at its cannabis dispensary in Montclair, will be holding an expungement clinic in the township on Saturday, Oct. 1.
Ascend Wellness is planning to host a week of events across the U.S. that offer expungement and other legal services to formerly incarcerated people, helping them to clear their records of marijuana-related offenses. The clinics will assist people with the expungement process and record sealing, and offer information about other resources such as housing and mental health support.
New Jersey employers have finally received a roadmap from the state on marijuana in the workplace. Late last week the Cannabis Regulatory Commission issued the long-awaited guidance as a first step toward the development of permanent standards outlining how businesses should respond if a worker is impaired due to marijuana. A key recommendation says employers can, but aren’t required to, use so-called Workplace Impairment Recognition Experts, or WIREs, when determining if an employee is high at work.
In a 3-2 vote on last week, the state's Cannabis Regulatory Commission voted for the sales expansion of Ascend Wellness in Fort Lee, NJ Advance Media reports.
In August, the company began selling recreational marijuana out of its Montclair location, and its Rochelle Park began doing so in April.
Ascend, which operates a medical marijuana dispensary in Montclair, said late Tuesday evening that it will open for legal marijuana sales on Friday.
The announcement came after the town council meeting where a resolution to issue a retail license was approved. Also approved was a settlement agreement between Ascend and the town, apparently related to Ascend's briefly opening for retail sales without the local license in June.
According to the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC), those 13 locations are:
- Apothecarium, 1865 Springfield, Avenue, Maplewood
- Apothecarium, 55 South Main Street, Phillipsburg
- Ascend Wellness, 174 Route 17 North, Rochelle Park
- RISE, 26-48 Bloomfield Avenue, Bloomfield
- RISE, 196 3rd Avenue, , Paterson
Medicinal customers hurried to stock up, with dispensaries selling 5,400 ounces alone last Wednesday, the day before the recreational market launched — more than twice the daily average for the previous month, sales figures show.
But of those 13 medical marijuana dispensaries that were first allowed to open, none appear to be owned by Black and Brown operators — despite the state’s often-stated public commitment to racial equity.
“I am seeing a lot of the community…both celebrating an historic moment, but at the same time also waiting to utilize their dollar bills and put them forth to these minority-owned local operators,” said Jessica Gonzalez, an attorney for Hiller PC focusing on state cannabis licenses.