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Still, as countless towns across the state debate whether to allow dispensaries (and in many cases deciding that the answer is no), Stockton’s poll is an indication that New Jerseyans overall remain supportive of legal weed.
The poll additionally asked about cannabis consumption lounges; respondents were narrowly in favor (49%-45%) of allowing such lounges in their towns, and were similarly split (48%-45%) on lounges and cannabis-themed attractions being allowed in tourist towns.
A recently published industry report warns that New Jersey’s limited number of legal, licensed and regulated cannabis dispensaries may harm the state’s ability to curtail the illicit cannabis marketplace.
Of the 14 states across the U.S. with legalized adult-use markets, New Jersey – with a population of 9.2 million – had the fewest stores per capita, coming in at 0.3 dispensaries per 100,000 people, according to a study done in partnership between cannabis use and education website Leafly.com and research firm Whitney Economics.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted cannabis enforcement initiatives in Los Angeles and caused critical budget shortfalls that could further hinder efforts to crack down on unlicensed marijuana operators.
That one-two punch could present a major obstacle to the success of L.A.’s legal market.
Reducing the number of illicit cannabis sellers and growers in Los Angeles has long been a top priority for licensed businesses, which say they cannot compete on pricing since legal recreational sales took effect in January 2018.