Update: Recreational Cannabis Sales Begin April 21 in NJ

Morristown Minute

Recreational cannabis sales will be given the approval to begin at 13 dispensary locations throughout NJ on Thursday, April 21.

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The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission will issue licenses to seven alternative treatment centers (ATCs), with 13 store locations, to begin recreational cannabis sales starting on Thursday, April 21.

The seven alternative treatment centers (ATCs), or medical dispensaries, that were granted an expansion into recreational sales include:

  1. Acreage CCF New Jersey, LLC
  2. Ascend New Jersey
  3. Columbia Care
  4. Curaleaf NJ, II, Inc
  5. GTI New Jersey (Green Thumb Industries)
  6. TerrAscend
  7. Verano

Adults 21 years and older will be able to purchase cannabis and cannabis products without a medical card.

“This is an exciting time for New Jersey,” said New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission executive director Jeff Brown. “New Jerseyans voted overwhelmingly to have access to adult-use cannabis and it is now here. I am very proud of the work the Commission has done over the past year to open the market. We have been intentional and deliberate to do everything in our power to set the market on good footing to start.”

These seven ATCs will be required to meet certain social equity standards.

Medicinal cannabis companies approved for expansion into the recreational market will be assessed on diversity in hiring and management, involvement with community programs, support of new local businesses, and the percentage of minority-owned vendors or suppliers contracted.

The results of the assessments for each dispensary will be posted and updated regularly on the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s website.

“We know that drug prohibition laws have through history disproportionately impacted Black and Brown communities – and continue to do so,” said Wesley McWhite III, NJ-CRC’s director of Diversity and Inclusion, who will be responsible for ensuring that the ATCs licensed for recreational use comply with the Act. “A socially equitable cannabis market will have substantial representation of those communities in employment and in ownership and these companies that have been benefitting from the market for the past 12 years – and are now expanding into the lucrative recreational space – have a role in helping to accomplish that. Making the standards and the grades public ensures customers, stakeholders, advocates, and the general public have a clear picture of the equity and diversity efforts in the New Jersey market.”

A full list of locations opening on April 21 will be posted on the NJ-CRC website as soon as each ATC confirms the date on which they will begin operations.

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Updates: Locations listed

Starting Thursday, April 21 New Jersey residents and visitors 21 years and older will be able to purchase recreational cannabis and cannabis products at 13 dispensaries across the state.

The locations, which have been serving patients in the Medicinal Cannabis Program, will now open their doors to the broader public. 

“We expect 13 locations for the entire state will make for extremely busy stores,” said Jeff Brown, executive director of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. “The dispensaries have assured us that they are ready to meet the demand without disrupting patient access, and with minimal impact on the surrounding communities, but patience will be key to a good opening day.”

Dispensaries are required to put patient access policies in place so that registrants in New Jersey’s Medicinal Cannabis Program do not have to wait in long lines or risk not getting their medicine. Facilities are expected to implement special lines or hours, online ordering, curbside pick-up, or home delivery to ensure patient access is uninterrupted.

Dispensary locations in North Jersey:

  • 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, #3C, Paterson

Dispensary locations in Central Jersey:

  • Zen Leaf, 117 Sprint Street, Elizabeth
  • Zen Leaf, 3256 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Township 

Dispensary locations in South Jersey:

  • The Botanist, 100 Century Drive, Egg Harbor Township
  • The Botanist, 2090 N Blackhorse Pike, Williamstown
  • The Cannabist/Columbia Care, 1692 Clements Bridge Road, Deptford – 5 PM Open for recreational
  • The Cannabist/Columbia Care, 1062 North Delsea Drive, Vineland – 5 PM Open for recreational
  • Curaleaf, 640 Creek Road, Bellmawr
  • *Curaleaf, 4237 US-130 South, Edgewater Park

*NJ-CRC has crossed this location off of their press release.

Consumers should check the websites of the approved retailers for specific information on opening and for hours of operation. 

Recreational cannabis customers will be able to buy up to 1 ounce of dried flower or up to 5 grams of concentrates, resins, or oils, or 10 100mg packages of ingestible items in a single transaction.

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