From July 2022 through June 2023, New Jersey dispensaries sold more than $734 million in cannabis products, according to statistics from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. The vast majority of sales came from recreational marijuana customers, who spent over $555 million.
The sales growth comes as the number of dispensaries in New Jersey has continued to grow exponentially. Twelve dispensaries opened for recreational sales during the first and second quarters of 2023, during which sales grew about 10% per quarter.
It seemed too good to be true.
Lawrence Township Manager Kevin Nerwinski didn't believe the numbers he was seeing. Verano Holdings wanted approval to open up their Zen Leaf medical marijuana dispensary in the town to recreational customers, selling legal weed to anyone over 21 years old. The company expected millions in revenue per month and, with a 2% transfer tax on every sale, a huge windfall for the township.
In the first year or two, Verano told Nerwinski that the township could see as much as $1 million in tax revenue.
Happy birthday, legal weed!
April 21 represents one year since the first recreational marijuana sales occurred in New Jersey, after nearly a decade of activism in the Garden State. Across New Jersey, customers flocked to 12 dispensaries and waited on line — sometimes for hours — to be among the first people to legally purchase cannabis for personal use.
"I've waited 50 f---ing years for this!," one customer yelled before walking into a dispensary to make his first purchase last year.
I’ll start with a question - Would you rather invest in a growing business with a high return, or a dying business with little to no return?
I would imagine we’re all going to choose the former over the latter, but unfortunately, our Clifton City Council does not agree.
Adult users now can buy from 18 dispensaries scattered around the state that also serve medical patients. The CRC has issued 140 conditional legal weed dispensary licenses, but none have opened.
The social equity fees, which are due on each sale of an ounce of recreational cannabis, is at the rate of $1.10 per ounce, according to the CRC and state Treasury Department.
New Jersey collected more than $4.6 million in tax revenue in the first 10 weeks of legal weed sales in the Garden State.
Nearly $79.7 million in total sales of recreational marijuana was recorded between April 21 and June 30, the end of the second fiscal quarter, according to the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission and state Treasury Department.
More than $59.2 million in medical marijuana was sold during the same quarter.