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New Jersey Announces Milestone of Over 100 Open Cannabis Dispensaries

TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey officials say the state has reached a milestone, with 102 medicinal and recreational cannabis dispensaries now open.

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC) announced the new total last week, about two years after recreational marijuana sales were approved in the state.

“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,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Reaching 100 cannabis dispensaries is a huge milestone that shows we are headed in the right direction.”

There are currently 40 dispensaries in the state that serve patients and recreational customers, 12 that are exclusive to patients, and 50 that serve only recreational customers.  The NJ-CRC noted there is at least one dispensary in 20 of New Jersey’s 21 counties, despite the fact that over 60% of New Jersey municipalities opted out of having cannabis businesses in their jurisdictions.

“This is undoubtedly a major milestone for the NJ-CRC and for the state,” said Cannabis Regulatory Commission Chairman Jeff Brown. “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.”

He added that there over 200 operating licenses in the state, including 23 cultivators and 15 manufacturers.

But some dispensary owners told CBS News that there are still challenges for the state’s cannabis industry and those attempting to build their businesses.  “It’s very hard for people, like, from minority group to be able to get license and I think that should change as well,” said Shani Madaminova, co-owner of the Leaf Haus dispensary in Somerset.

“The root of the cause essentially is that everyone still looks at us as criminals, and that’s the reason why we’re over-regulated and the over-regulation leads to extended bureaucracy,” said Charles Penn, co-owner of Library Cannabis Shop in West Orange.

Brown said he expects cannabis sales in New Jersey to reach the $1 billion mark in 2024.

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