New Jersey legal recreational cannabis sales finally started. Now, the question is: Who will celebrate more? Consumers or marijuana operators?
It looks like it’s a tie, considering that it has been some 17 months and multiple setbacks since New Jerseyans decided to legalize adult-use cannabis in a ballot measure. Just recently, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission approved 34 conditional licenses and agreed that seven of the state's 10 medical cannabis companies can begin sales.
So which weed companies are ready to roll on the first day?
Among them are some large operators like Curaleaf CURA CURLF, TerrAscend TRSSF, Columbia Care CCHWF, Acreage ACRHF, and Ascend Wellness AAWH.
Curaleaf dispensary in Bellmawr will begin serving adult-use customers, with Edgewater Park and Bordentown to quickly follow.
During this period of expansion, patient care for individuals licensed under New Jersey's medical marijuana program will remain Curaleaf's top priority at all New Jersey retail locations.
In anticipation of increased demand, the company has tripled its cultivation capacity to ensure that medical patient supply is prioritized in the event of a product shortage.
"The launch of New Jersey's adult-use marketplace is a major step forward for the cannabis industry and it is a privilege to be among the inaugural group of licensees that will mark the beginning of the state's adult-use market," stated Joe Bayern, CEO of Curaleaf.
"Our local teams look forward to building strong relationships with new consumers while deepening our ties with the medical community. Providing top-tier medical patient care remains our main priority and we have adopted considerable safeguards to make sure they can seamlessly access products to find relief. We thank you for your continued support as we join the state of New Jersey on this historic journey."
As for TerrAscend, initial sales will happen at the company's Apothecarium Maplewood, located at 1865 Springfield Ave, Maplewood and the Apothecarium Phillipsburg, located at 55 S. Main St, Phillipsburg. TerrAscend also intends to request authorization for its planned dispensary in Lodi, which is expected to open in Q2 2022.
"This is a momentous time for New Jersey cannabis consumers," Jason Wild, executive chairman of TerrAscend said. "We look forward to continuing to honor our patients' needs and are excited to introduce our premier products and retail experiences to consumers across the State."
Columbia Care will begin adult-use sales Thursday at its two New Jersey dispensaries, both now under the Cannabist brand, in Deptford and Vineland. Cannabist Deptford is located at 1692 Clements Bridge Road in Deptford; Cannabist Vineland is located at 1062 N. Delsea Dr.
“This is a momentous time for the voters of the Garden State who have been looking forward to adult-use sales, giving new meaning to the phrase ‘good things come to those who wait’,” Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care said in a statement.
“We are grateful to the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission for giving us the green light to begin sales of our high-quality cannabis products to recreational customers on Day One for New Jersey, and we are thankful to the local officials and communities for their continued support. New Jersey is the first of the next wave of east coast states to launch adult use, and we are excited to grow and evolve alongside new social equity entrepreneurs who will help make this local industry a success.”
On Thursday, Acreage launched adult-use cannabis operations in two New Jersey locations. Acreage’s products, including its flagship brand, The Botanist, will be available for adult-use consumers at its Egg Harbor Township and Williamstown dispensaries in southern New Jersey.
“After serving New Jersey medical patients for almost five years, we are thrilled to be among the first operators establishing New Jersey’s adult-use market. With New Jersey adult-use sales projected to reach $2.4 billion by 2026, The Botanist is well-positioned through our expanded cultivation capabilities to meet consumer demand and increase sales in the coming years,” stated Peter Caldini, CEO of Acreage. “Our company has been committed to providing exceptional patient care since its inception, and we will continue to prioritize medical patients while providing the same level of care and expertise to our new adult-use consumers.”
To celebrate the first day of adult-use sales, The Botanist Williamstown will host an opening event attended by former NFL player and Last Prisoner Project ambassador Marvin Washington.
Ascend is starting recreational cannabis sales at its dispensary in Rochelle Park, New Jersey, located at 174 NJ-17 N. To provide a streamlined retail experience, Ascend Rochelle Park will require adult-use customers to reserve a 20-minute shopping appointment online ahead of visits.
"Ascend Rochelle Park has served thousands of New Jersey medical patients since opening last year," stated Chris Melillo, chief revenue officer of AWH. "Existing patients can rest assured that they remain a priority and will continue to enjoy our top-tier services without disruption as we welcome adult-use consumers to the New Jersey Ascend community. We are excited to serve all New Jersey cannabis consumers and look forward to commencing recreational sales in our other locations across the Garden State. We look forward to continuing to partner with the town of Rochelle Park and bring great jobs to this dynamic area."
It has been a busy week for all these companies, and not just because of the 4/20 and New Jersey sales launch, but also because of the largest cannabis capital conference ever.
Executives from most of these large cannabis companies and many others attended Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, on April 20-21 at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel in Florida, Miami.
There was Boris Jordan, executive chairman of the board at Curaleaf who gave a keynote speech, Jason Wild, president of TerrAscend, Abner Kurtin, founder & CEO of Ascend Wellness Holdings, and Peter Caldini, CEO of Acreage. Check out the full lineup here, and also everything the conference covered here.
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