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).
Multistate operators with New York medical cannabis licenses sued regulators on Thursday in an attempt to gain quick entry into the state’s adult-use marijuana market.
The MSOs are currently shut out from New York’s legal recreational market.
Al Harrington, a New Jersey native and former NBA player, is launching his premium cannabis brand, Viola, exclusively with RISE Dispensary in New Jersey. The launch will begin on Friday, March 24, at RISE Paterson, and the premium flower will be available at RISE Bloomfield starting the next day. Viola is a leading premium Black-owned cannabis brand, inspired by Harrington's grandmother of the same name, who used cannabis to alleviate the symptoms of glaucoma and diabetes.
It’s been quite a rut. The shares of Curaleaf Holdings, Green Thumb Industries and Trulieve Cannabis have plummeted more than 30% this year — much worse than the declines posted by benchmark indexes such as the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average. Much of cannabis companies’ slide is due to the failure of reforms that investors had hoped for to materialize so far under U.S. President Joe Biden.
BTIG analyst Camilo Lyon calls it a “regulatory recession,” given that the stocks still trade at low multiples to their earnings, and many companies have seen growth rates of 60%.
Here’s what to know on the first day of legal weed in New Jersey.
Where is the nearest dispensary?
The Apothecarium in Phillipsburg is the closest New Jersey dispensary that has been cleared for recreational sales. It opens at 10 a.m. Thursday at 55 South Main Street.
Parent company TerrAscend also has an Apothecarium in Maplewood, which opens at 9 a.m.
Other New Jersey legal weed sites are:
• Verano, under the Zen Leaf banner, at its locations in Elizabeth and Lawrence at 9 a.m.
New Jersey’s recreational marijuana marketplace is open for business.
Recreational sales of cannabis for adults 21 and older are scheduled to start Thursday, with the first alternative treatment centers opening at 6 a.m. in part of the state.
“It’s a huge event. It’s a moment in time in American history where prohibition 2.0 is lifted,” said Ben Kovler, the chairman and CEO of Green Thumb Industries, which has two facilities opening Thursday, one in Bloomfield and another in Paterson.
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.
Enthusiasm within the industry was palpable.
Dispensaries in Bloomfield and Paterson, which are both about 20 miles from Midtown Manhattan, were making plans to entertain customers waiting in line with a D.J., doughnut truck and a steel drum band.
“The end of prohibition is coming to New Jersey,” said Ben Kovler, chief executive of Green Thumb Industries, which operates both dispensaries. “We’re prepared for a tidal wave of demand.”
Thirteen of the state's existing medical marijuana dispensaries will soon be able to sell legal weed to any adult over 21 years old after they received crucial approvals from the state on Monday.
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission on Thursday approved seven applications for conversion submitted by Acreage Holdings, Ascend New Jersey, Columbia Care, Curaleaf, Green Thumb Industries, TerrAscend and Verano Holdings.
Earlier this month nearly two dozen budtenders (the job title for those who help customers at marijuana dispensaries) at Ascend Montclair Dispensary signed a new three-year contract offering health benefits and wage increases.
But they won’t be the only ones for long, predict those who are leading the charge to get cannabis workers unionized.