Approval means 19 municipalities can sell cannabis for recreational use, potentially by end of month

Long-desired goal of governor, others could become a reality for seven operators approved by cannabis regulatory commission

The sale of cannabis for recreational use finally is coming to the state. Potentially by the end of April.

On Monday afternoon, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission approved seven medical marijuana dispensaries to begin selling cannabis for recreational use.

The following operators were given the ability to sell: Acreage, Ascend Wellness, Columbia Care, Curaleaf, GTI, TerrAscend and Verano (which operates as Zen Leaf).

Here are the towns where recreational use cannabis soon will be sold
· Atlantic City (Acreage);
· Bellmawr (Curaleaf);
· Bloomfield (Green Thumb);
· Bordentown (Curaleaf);
· Deptford (Columbia Care);
· Edgewater Park (Curaleaf);
· Egg Harbor Township (Acreage);
· Elizabeth (Zen Leaf);
· Fort Lee (Ascend);
· Lawrence (Zen Leaf);
· Lodi (TerrAscend);
· Maplewood (TerrAscend);
· Montclair (Ascend);
· Neptune (Zen Leaf – pending final approval)
· Paramus (Green Thumb);
· Paterson (Green Thumb);
· Phillipsburg (TerrAscend);
· Rochelle Park (Ascend);
· Vineland (Columbia Care).

The sale of cannabis for recreational use has long been a goal for Gov. Phil Murphy (who had it as a part of his initial gubernatorial campaign) and many other advocates. In November of 2020, New Jersey residents voted to legalize adult-use cannabis.

New Jersey CannaBusiness Association President Edmund DeVeaux welcomed the news.

“New Jersey continues to move ahead of other states in the region on adult-use cannabis,” he said in a statement. “Today’s action is the culmination of a tremendous amount of time, work and effort by the CRC and the industry to get this done right.

“Looking to the future, it is critical that we ensure that both medical and adult-use cannabis are in supply and affordable for New Jerseyans. We look forward to continuing our work with the CRC on that process and eagerly anticipate the next round of progress for New Jersey.”

The New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association also announced its support of the action, saying in a statement:

“This is a win for so many in our state. Not only will the adult-use market be especially beneficial to growing the economy and developing jobs in New Jersey, but the taxes from this now-legal marketplace will go directly to supporting social equity goals and assisting those who were disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs.

“Over the last two years, our member ATC operators have been working tirelessly to plan for this day, and have invested significant time, money and resources into expanding operations to prepare for a smooth transition to recreational sales without harming access or supply to New Jersey’s medical cannabis patients, who have always been and will continue to be our top priority.”