New Jersey Recreational Market Opens With A Bang

New Jersey’s recreational cannabis market for adults is opening with significant public demand. One need not look any further than the expansive lines at the Apothecarium Dispensary in Phillipsburg to understand just how many residents of the Garden State are interested in indulging in cannabis.  New Jersey is now selling cannabis to residents age 21 and older.  Local news outlets report some of those in line for recreational cannabis came from nearby states such as Pennsylvania.

The Start Of A New Era

Recreational marijuana sales in New Jersey officially began on Thursday.  Facilities that obtained the license necessary to sell cannabis opened their doors to adult cannabis users.  All in all, a dozen medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state secured the licenses necessary to legally sell the plant to adults.  The pent-up demand for cannabis is evidenced by some showing up as early as 5 am to get prime positioning in line.  However, most New Jersey dispensaries do not open their doors until 9 or 10 am.  The Cannibist in Deptford delayed opening its doors until 5 pm Thursday.  

Some such dispensaries will maintain special hours of operation reserved for medical cannabis sales.  Action News reported that some of the state’s medical marijuana patients visited local dispensaries on Wednesday to sidestep the potentially massive crowds expected on the following day when the Garden State officially commenced recreational marijuana sales.  Most of the state’s medical dispensaries created separate lines for their loyal medical marijuana patients so those individuals do not have to wait several hours for the plant they need to live and function normally.

A Trend Or A Societal Shift?

There is some question as to whether the cannabis craze will maintain its momentum.  If New Jersey recreational cannabis is priced at or near the same levels as black market cannabis without a significant improvement in quality, there is the potential for some customers to stick with their regular dealer.  Even if some marijuana users in the Garden State choose to buy their weed on the black market, the shift toward buying the plant from licensed dispensaries is a bullish sign for marijuana investors.

At the moment, the primary concern is that New Jersey will run out of cannabis.  Rewind to Nevada’s legalization of cannabis and the state’s dispensaries initially ran out of the most coveted strains after expanding service from medical patients to everyday people.  As a result, some cannabis enthusiasts in New Jersey and other states have gone to the extent of getting a medical card just in case the cannabis sold to the general public is depleted.  

A spokesperson with one of the local NJ dispensaries dubbed the “Botanist”, indicated it will increase its cannabis supply by 100% to meet the heightened customer demand across the ensuing half-year.  However, there is still some question as to whether the Garden State will have enough marijuana to go around.

Details Of The New NJ Cannabis Laws

New Jersey has legalized the possession of cannabis up to a single ounce.  However, New Jersey does not allow drivers to operate motor vehicles while high.  Local NJ police have indicated thy will use drug recognition specialists in an attempt to identify drivers who are under the influence of cannabis.

It is particularly interesting to note New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy stated there are no laws on the books to prevent police officers from engaging in cannabis use when not on the clock.  However, Murphy also noted he is open to the idea of legislation that might alter the state’s laws pertaining to cannabis use when off-duty.  It is also worth noting it is illegal to cross state lines from New jersey to Pennsylvania when possessing marijuana as Pennsylvania has not yet legalized the sale or use of the plant for recreational purposes.

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