The first New Jersey recreational dispensaries will open April 21

Published on April 14, 2022 · Last updated April 15, 2022

These are the 13 medical providers approved to start selling weed to all adults

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy announced on Twitter that legal weed will be available for purchase starting April 21. The first 13 dispensaries allowed to sell adult-use cannabis in New Jersey are preparing for final site inspections and to pay licensing fees so they can kick off the Garden State’s recreational market next week.

On Monday, NJ’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) initially said that opening days would will vary for each location depending on when operators completed final licensing steps, but today’s announcement confirms that at least some of the 13 approved facilities will begin adult-use sales next week.

Legislation allows alternative treatment centers (ATCs), who are national companies that have been serving NJ’s medical patients for years, to expand and begin selling to all adults in the recreational market.

These are New Jersey’s top weed strains

At a special CRC meeting on Monday, multi-state operators like Curaleaf, Columbia Care, and Verano told the board their plans to protect access for medical patients, support social equity goals, and update labor guidelines. In March, the CRC pushed back plans to approve these ATCs until they showed proof of compliance with updated standards of operation. They also wanted to ensure that each provider will have enough supply to meet recreational demand without interrupting medical access.

The CRC said in a press release that the list of dispensaries that will receive licenses on April 21 will be posted on the commission’s website as soon as ATCs complete final licensing steps.

Here are the first dispensaries that will be open to all adults 21 and over on April 21, 2022:

  1. Curaleaf (Bellmawr, NJ)
  2. Curaleaf (Edgewater Park, NJ)
  3. Columbia Care (Vineland, NJ)
  4. Cannabist (Deptford, NJ) owned by Columbia Care
  5. The Botanist (Egg Harbor Township, NJ) owned by Acreage Holdings
  6. The Botanist (Williamstown, NJ) owned by Acreage Holdings
  7. Zen Leaf (Elizabeth, NJ) owned by Verano
  8. Zen Leaf (Lawrence, NJ) owned by Verano
  9. Ascend Wellness (Rochelle Park, NJ)
  10. The Apothecarium (Phillipsburg, NJ) owned by TerrAscend
  11. The Apothecarium (Maplewood, NJ) owned by TerrAscend
  12. RISE (Paterson, NJ) owned by GTI New Jersey
  13. RISE (Bloomfield, NJ) owned by GTI New Jersey

NJ’s CREAMM Act allows medicinal cannabis companies (ATCs) to expand service to the recreational market while the CRC approves recreational-only dispensaries. The CRC has publicly committed to assessing these ATCs on “diversity in hiring and management, support for community programs, the number of new and local businesses to which they provide technical support, and the percentage of minority-owned vendors or suppliers with which they contract, among other things.”

Who’s up next?

NJ map first dispensaries
When New Jersey’s rec market opens on April 21, shoppers from New York, Pennsylvania, and other neighboring states are expected to flood the tri-state area’s first adult-use dispensaries.

Not all medical companies that applied for expansion got approved on Monday. AYR Wellness got rejected, but posted on Twitter that they are confident they will get approval at the next meeting.

“We are disappointed with today’s NJ CRC decision to not grant Ayr approval to begin adult-use sales of cannabis in our 3 open dispensaries. We were notified that our submitted application was complete & had every expectation that we would be part of the initial cohort approved.”

New Jersey is accepting cannabis license applications. Here’s how to apply

On Monday, the CRC also approved 34 conditional license applications for cultivators and manufacturing licenses. That brings the number of conditional licenses approved so far to 102, many of which should be in business by the end of the year.

Conditional license awardees now have about four months to find a site, get local approval to operate, and apply for an annual license. Conditional licenses are a path for small businesses to enter the industry before annual licenses are given to larger operators.

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Calvin Stovall
Calvin Stovall
Calvin Stovall is Leafly's East Coast Editor.
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