New Jersey surpasses milestone of 100 cannabis dispensaries open

After just under two years into adult-use, recreational cannabis sales, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s dispensary directory now lists 102 medicinal and recreational cannabis dispensaries across the state, according to a recent announcement.

“When the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission was established, our administration’s goal was to develop a stronger, fairer, and more equitable model for the rollout of an adult-use cannabis market. Reaching 100 cannabis dispensaries is a huge milestone that shows we are headed in the right direction,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “As we continue toward our goals for the cannabis market in New Jersey, I am grateful to the Cannabis Regulatory Commission for their dedicated work and leadership on this critical area of our economy.”

The commission’s executive director, Jeff Brown, worked with the former Medicinal Marijuana Program under the state Department of Health prior to leading the NJ-CRC. He is excited about the industry’s growth.

“This is undoubtedly a major milestone for the NJ-CRC and for the state,” Brown said. “After having just 12 alternative treatment centers for more than eight years, we have seen a proliferation of businesses in the last two that clearly demonstrates consumer demand and the potential of the cannabis industry in New Jersey. Recreational Cannabis sales hit $673,907,755 in 2023, and medicinal cannabis reached $99,588,104 for the first three quarters of 2023. There is every indication that the overall sales amount will rise this year and next.”

To date, the NJ-CRC’s dispensary directory includes 40 that serve patients and recreational customers, 12 that are exclusive to patients, and 50 that serve only recreational customers. Despite more than 60% of New Jersey municipalities opting out of having cannabis businesses in their jurisdictions, cannabis businesses have operating licenses in every county, and there is at least one dispensary in 20 of New Jersey’s 21 counties.

Dispensaries are not the only cannabis businesses opening. There are now more than 200 operating licenses in the state, including 23 cultivators and 15 manufacturers.

Commission Chair Dianna Houenou is encouraged by the numbers.

“We have been thoughtful and deliberate about establishing New Jersey’s cannabis market that protects patient access, keeps New Jerseyans safe, and prioritizes equity,” she said. “It is heartening to see how well the market is thriving while accomplishing those commitments. I look forward to seeing more municipalities open up to the industry so aspiring entrepreneurs can find opportunities, patients and consumers have more options to purchase safely and the industry is strengthened.”