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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).
Wayne Township residents who enjoy cannabis may soon have a shorter trip for legally purchasing the substance. State regulators approved a retailer license for a Haledon-based business, paving the way for a dispensary in the borough.
Wayne's Township Council voted in April 2021 to ban recreational-weed businesses from operating within the township. The closest dispensary offering medicinal or recreational cannabis is RISE, a Paterson business that offers both.
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
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.
On Monday evening, Mayor Michael Venezia and the Township Council met to discuss a wide range of issues and proposals for Bloomfield, with retail cannabis sales and businesses taking center stage.
Green Thumb Industries Inc. (GTI) (CSE: GTII) (OTCQX: GTBIF), a leading national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and owner of Rise™ Dispensaries, today announced it will open Rise Bloomfield, the Company’s third store in New Jersey and 65th in the nation. Profits from the first day of sales will be donated to the Bloomfield Youth Aid Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing services to Bloomfield youth, including scholarship funds, toy drives and summer youth programs.
When the pandemic started, medical cannabis dispensaries were deemed "essential businesses" in New Jersey. Green Thumb Industries, which operates two Rise medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, said the categorization of these cannabis businesses as "essential" pushed the industry forward.
The shift from illicit to essential business helped destigmatize the industry, which is now set to expand into recreational cannabis after New Jersey voters chose to legalize marijuana in November.
Green Thumb is a rising star
Illinois-based Green Thumb Industries owns two retail cannabis stores, Rise and Essence. The company manufactures and distributes a variety of popular medical and recreational cannabis products through these storefronts under brand names like Dogwalkers, Dr. Solomon's, and Rythm.
Dispensaries are labeled an essential service under the same umbrella as health care and pharmacies, so business closures mandated made by local governments won’t affect operations, said Vinit Patel, regional dispensary operations manager for Curaleaf, which has nearly 30 locations across Florida.
Medical marijuana businesses are adapting new procedures to encourage social distancing. Some are closing lobbies and moving operations outdoors, or allowing “herb-side pickup,” such as RiSE Dispensary in Bonita Springs.