Lines wrapped around buildings as New Jerseyans 21 and older gained access to 12 adult-use cannabis dispensaries when the state officially launched its licensed retail program on April 21.
The 12 retail locations sold nearly $1.9 million in adult-use cannabis and products to 12,438 customers, or roughly $150 per transaction, according to the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC).
CRC Executive Director Jeff Brown said in a statement April 27 that the 12 retail locations, which were already established medical cannabis dispensaries, did not report negative impacts to their medical cannabis supply amidst the adult-use rollout, the Asbury Park Press reported.
“We expected sales to be substantial, and the data shows that the market is effectively serving both adult-use consumers and patients,” Brown said. “We continue to monitor inventory and access for patients and are prepared to take enforcement action against any [retailer] that does not meet the requirements for patient access and supply.”
CRC officials had delayed the application and licensing process leading up to last week’s commercial sales launch—a full 534 days after New Jersey voters passed Question 1 in the November 2020 election. The commission’s rationale was partly to ensure state-licensed businesses were ready to provide an adequate supply of cannabis to both medical and adult-use customers.
CRC imposed limits on adult-use cannabis customers, who are able to purchase up to 1 ounce of dried flower; or up to 5 grams of concentrates, resins or oils; or 10 100-millgram packages of ingestible items in a single transaction.
As 13 of New Jersey’s 23 medical cannabis dispensaries were approved to begin serving adult-use customers April 21 (one of the 13 approved did not start selling to adult-use customers on opening day), medical cannabis patients stocked up the day before. In addition to anticipation of the next day’s adult-use rollout, April 20 is traditionally a big day for cannabis sales.
On April 20, New Jersey’s dispensaries sold roughly 5,400 ounces of medical cannabis to their patients, more than double the daily average from March, the Asbury Park Press reported. In the five days after, they sold another 7,500 ounces.
As New Jersey became the 14th state to launch commercial adult-use sales, executives from the seven companies operating the 13 approved dispensaries reinforced that patient care for those under the state’s medical program will remain a top priority.
“Our local teams look forward to building strong relationships with new consumers while deepening our ties with the medical community,” Curaleaf CEO Joe Bayern said in a press release. “Providing top-tier medical patient care remains our main priority and we have adopted considerable safeguards to make sure they can seamlessly access products to find relief.