NJ Transitions Medical Cannabis Stores Into Recreational to Keep Up With the Demand
Since the recent legalization of recreational cannabis in New Jersey, on April 21, 2022, the sales of cannabis have increased massively. In just the first month, the state reported more than $24 million in recreational cannabis sales! These sales were made at 13 medical cannabis stores; however, there has been a clear need of opening up more stores.
These 13 stores were owned by Green Thumb Industries Inc., Curaleaf Holdings Inc., Verano Holdings Corp., Columbia Care Inc., Ascend Wellness Holdings Inc., and Terrascend Corp.
Three more recreational marjuana shops were set up in New Jersey just last week. There are now a total of 16 cannabis stores where New Jersey citizens can purchase adult cannabis legally. These stores will not only make up for the increasing demand, but also provide a great opportunity for growth.
Related – All You Need to Know About New Jersey Cannabis Laws
Where Are the Stores Located and How Will They Help the Locals
The marijuana stores are located in Woodbridge, Union, and Eatontown. They were already operational, with the permission to sell only medical marijuana. As of now, they have transitioned from selling only to medical patients under the Garden State Dispensary brand to also selling to recreational users.
Approvals were granted last month, in May 2022. Although the transition took a while, it will help many users in the Jersey Shore communities, as residents were severely opposed to the sale of recreational cannabis in the area. Users had to drive up to 50 miles to visit a recreational marijuana store. This was also a big hassle, keeping in mind the hike in gas prices.
Even though the recreational use of marijuana was legalized well over two months ago, there were no outlets in central New Jersey where residents could purchase it. Millions of residents in this area were unable to get their hands on adult weed, but can now do the same since the three new stores have begun sales. They also no longer have to worry about getting in any sort of trouble.
As per estimations, New Jersey should become the state with third-largest contributions to overall legal cannabis sales by 2026.
However, as demand grows and more products are introduced to the cannabis market rapidly, there are high chances of prices increasing. It is speculated that consumers may have to pay a hefty price for recreational marijuana in NJ very soon.
When Did Sales Start?
Recreational sales at the cannabis stores in Woodbridge, Union, and Eatontown began on 15th June, 2022, Wednesday at 10 AM. Now anyone above the age of 21 can walk into these stores and purchase marijuana without a medical card. However, buyers need to carry a government-issued photo ID for age confirmation.
A few extra tips for shopping at a recreational marijuana store include:
- Present your ID at the front desk and wait for confirmation.
- Wait for your turn to get called to the register if you have any questions to clarify, otherwise you can continue exploring the options at the store.
- Most stores should also have the option to order online and pick up from the store.
You can then get in line and continue with the purchase just like at any other store. The state sales tax is 6.625% with additional excise and local taxes.
What Does This Mean for the Residents of N.J.?
As even the communities that were highly opposed to recreational marijuana sales begin to accept it, let’s take a look at the future of cannabis in New Jersey.
There are about 130,000 MMJ patients in NJ right now, with around 800,000 potential recreational users. This implies that these people were previously unable to get their hands on marijuana. Perhaps the reason may be that their conditions were not severe enough to qualify for a medical card.
Regardless, it is now much easier for residents of central New Jersey to get their hands on cannabis legally. This also means that they won’t have to look elsewhere and can safely purchase at cannabis stores. Doing so will also ensure that their health is not put in jeopardy.
Removing the stigma and regulations around cannabis consumption also helps innocent people stay out of trouble. In 2017, there were 37,623 arrests for marijuana possession and distribution. However, there is no clarity on how many of the accused had genuine intent of selling.
Do You Still Need a Medical Card in New Jersey to Purchase Cannabis?
If you live in an area where no recreational cannabis stores are located then you may have to get a medical card. If you want to purchase cannabis at an adult-use store, you will have to make sure the shop you visit is allowed to sell to recreational users.
However, the benefits of getting a medical card are still relevant. You can read about them in detail here.
If you are looking for a quick and affordable doctor’s recommendation, it is best to get your medical marijuana card NJ online. Visit MD Ganja for an easy and hassle-free recommendation process.