NEW JERSEY – Recreational marijuana sales begin in New Jersey on Thursday, April 21 for those 21 and older without a medical pot card. But where can you buy your first batch of legal weed?
Earlier this month, the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission approved seven medical marijuana dispensaries to sell adult-use cannabis at 13 locations 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, in a statement. “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.”
The move comes more than a year after New Jersey voters approved a ballot question in November 2020 to legalize regulated marijuana sales in the state for those 21 and older.
Here’s where you can purchase legal cannabis starting Thursday:
- Zen Leaf, 117 Spring Street, Elizabeth
- Zen Leaf, 3256 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Township
- 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
Customers are urged to check the websites of the approved retailers for specific information on hours of operation.
“We encourage everyone to be safe – buy only from licensed dispensaries and start low and go slow. Remember that the laws against impaired driving apply to being high,” Brown added. “Our guests from neighboring states should remember it is illegal to transport cannabis across state lines.”
Related: Murphy ‘Open’ To Ban Pot For Off-Duty NJ Cops
Dispensaries, known formally as alternative treatment centers, can sell up to one ounce of cannabis per transaction. That’s one ounce of dried flower, 1000 mg of gummies or 5 grams of concentrates like oils or resins. One transaction can include a combination of items.
The approved locations are still required to put patient access policies in place so that registrants in New Jersey’s Medicinal Cannabis Program do not have to wait on 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 make sure supply delivery isn’t interrupted.
NJ Cannabis Regulatory Committee Chair Dianna Houenou said that patient access and public safety remains the top priority during this new expansion into the recreational market.
“These approvals were given based on commitments from the ATCs that we would not see adverse effects with expansion,” Houenou said. “Expansion into the adult-use market – with a substantial advantageous start ahead of new applicants – is a privilege that must not be taken lightly.”
The commission has issued the following tips for cannabis customers in New Jersey:
- Do: Be patient – expect long lines and wait your turn to be served.
- Do: Start low and go slow – follow product instructions and remember ingestible products can take longer to take effect than smoking or vaping. Call NJ Poison Center at 800-222-1222 if you are concerned you may have ingested or used too much.
- Do: Store your legal cannabis products securely, out of the reach of kids. Legal cannabis products are in child safe packaging, but always keep them secure and out of the reach of anyone under the age of 21.
- Don’t: Drive while high. Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal and dangerous.
- Don’t: Cross state lines. It is illegal to transport legal cannabis products from New Jersey outside of New Jersey.
- Don’t: Buy more than one ounce. Consumers can’t purchase more than an ounce in a single transaction, and legally cannot possess more than one ounce at any time. Consumers could face criminal penalties if they disregard these limits.
- Do: Be safe, be smart, follow the rules.
You can read the state’s guidelines for safe and responsible marijuana consumption here.