NJ legal weed sales start April 21. What you need to know4 min read
Most years, New Jersey marijuana enthusiasts on Wednesday would be celebrating 4/20 — the unofficial pot holiday.
But this year, it might be known by a different moniker: It’s 4/21 Eve, the day before New Jersey officially begins selling legal weed to any adult wishing to partake.
New Jersey will be only the fourth state on the eastern seaboard the only state south of Massachusetts to sell marijuana to adults over 21 years old, even those without a medical marijuana card.
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“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,” New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission Executive Director Jeff Brown said in a statement.
Here’s what you need to know before the big day.
Where can I buy legal weed?
Here are the 12 dispensaries open for legal weed sales Thursday, April 21:
- The Apothecarium, Maplewood (TerrAscend)
- The Apoothecarium, Phillipsburg (TerrAscend)
- Ascend New Jersey, Rochelle Park
- The Botanist by CCF, Egg Harbor Township (Acreage Holdings)
- The Botanist by CCF, Williamstown (Monroe), (Acreage Holdings)
- The Cannabist, Deptford (Columbia Care)
- The Cannabist, Vineland (Columbia Care)
- Curaleaf, Bellmawr
- RISE Dispensaries, Paterson
- RISE Dispensaries, Bloomfield
- Zen Leaf, Elizabeth (Verano Holdings)
- Zen Leaf, Lawrence (Verano Holdings)
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You can map a route to all the locations below:
How much legal weed can I buy at once?
Recreational customers are only allowed to purchase one ounce of marijuana at a time.
Under state law, you won’t face any charges or citations if you are in possession of six ounces or less of marijuana.
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What will my selection be like?
New Jersey medical marijuana dispensaries offer marijuana flower in increments as small as an eighth of an ounce, as well as pre-rolled joints, vape cartridges and edibles, including gummies, tinctures and lozenges.
Selection will vary according to the dispensary you visit. And at any time, dispensaries can stop selling a particular strain or item to recreational customers to ensure there’s enough supply for their medical marijuana patients.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the first few days and weeks of legal weed sales will likely bring a huge demand. Don’t be surprised if dispensaries sell out of their most popular products.
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How much does NJ legal weed cost?
The price of weed depends on a number of factors, including the quality of strain and usual market factors, like supply and demand.
As of Tuesday, many of the dispensary operators were charging between $25 and $40 for an eighth of an ounce of cannabis flower after taking into account discounts for 4/20, the unofficial holiday for marijuana enthusiasts everywhere.
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Cannabis-infused gummies were on sale for $60 for a 35-pack.
What will I pay in taxes?
The price of an ounce of cannabis will fluctuate, like any commodity.
But the actual tax paid by New Jersey consumers will fluctuate as well. If the average price per ounce is $350 or more, you can expect to pay $41.50 in taxes, a markup of about 12%, including a $10 social justice excise fee.
As the industry grows, the price of cannabis will likely drop. The sales tax and municipal tax rates will stay the same, but that excise fee will actually increase, ensuring that tax revenue still flows — specifically to communities of color — even if the price sinks.
So if the price of cannabis were to dip to $150 per ounce, you’d wind up paying $73.50 in taxes, including a $60 social justice excise fee.
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Why are only 12 dispensaries open for recreational sales?
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission approved 13 applications for “conversion” from medical marijuana to adult use sales, submitted by seven different alternative treatment center operators.
But in order for sales to begin, 23 dispensaries needed to pass inspection and get the final approval from their municipalities.
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Of the remaining 10 dispensaries waiting, some are located in municipalities which have opted out of the adult use cannabis industry. Others simply haven’t gotten the state approval required yet.
When will more dispensaries open?
The Curaleaf location in Bordentown Township, Zen Leaf in Neptune and Ascend New Jersey dispensary in Montclair only need local approval to begin recreational sales.
You’ll likely see at least one other medical marijuana operator, Ayr Wellness — which owns three Garden State Dispensary locations in Woodbridge, Union and Eatontown — get approved for recreational sales, but it still needs the CRC to approve its conversion applications.
In the long-term, the CRC will eventually begin allowing its newer medical marijuana dispensaries — which aren’t even open yet — to sell to recreational customers. But they must remain medical-only for at least one year.
Eventually, the CRC will begin issuing licenses to recreational-only legal weed dispensaries. The commission has already approved recreational cannabis growers and manufacturers, but those applications opened months before the dispensary applications.
Mike Davis has spent the last decade covering New Jersey local news, marijuana legalization, transportation and a little bit of everything else. He’s won a few awards that make his parents very proud. Contact him at [email protected] or @byMikeDavis on Twitter.