New Jersey Cannabis Statistics

New Jersey Cannabis Statistics 2024-2023

  • New Jersey recreational marijuana sales are expected to reach $625 million to $775 million in 2024.
  • There are 56 medical cannabis business licenses in NJ; none are owned by black-owned businesses.
  • So far, NJ has 68 conditional licenses for recreational marijuana, but none for retail sales.
  • It costs $350 to $500 for one ounce of medical marijuana in New Jersey.
  • Adults can buy up to one once of recreational marijuana at a time (source)
  • Growing marijuana is still illegal, punishable by up to a $25,000 fine and possible prison time.
  • In NJ, 400 municipalities across the state have banned recreational marijuana sales
  • Commercial real estate prices in NJ are rising by up to 50%.
  • There are currently 117,000 registered medical marijuana patients in NJ.

New Jersey Cannabis Facts 2022-2021

New Jersey Dispensary Locations
New Jersey Dispensary Locations Map

New Jersey is expected to have recreational marijuana sales are expected to reach $625 million to $775 million in 2022. Sales have not started yet, despite the measure being approved in November 2020. The delays are not unexpected, but medical marijuana industry is legal in NJ. suppliers claim they can handle the additional demand, but several lawmakers have expressed concern that medical marijuana patients would not get the supply needed. In February, Gov. Phil Murphy said dispensaries would be open in weeks, but then omitted to mention of a date in his March budget address. Without a definite data, the expected sales figures will most likely be revised.

There is little diversity in NJ’s existing medical cannabis business licenses. Of the 56 licenses, none are issued to a black-owned company. African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey President John Harmon makes this claim, but the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission denies this. The CRC claims 22 license medical cannabis license awardees stated they were owned by women. minorities or veterans. They did state that they would check if the information the license provided was inaccurate, and if it was, they may rescind the license and award it to another qualified applicant.

By March 2022, NJ has only approved 68 conditional licenses for recreational marijuana. None of there are for retail sales; the licenses are for cultivation, manufacturing and testing. The state has retail license applications they are considering, but it could take months for approvals. While recreational marijuana use was approved in late 2020, residents still can’t buy in legally, with the exception being medical marijuana.

New Jersey Marijuana Facts 2024-2023

NJ state flag
NJ state flag

New Jersey has some of the highest prices for medical marijuana in the nation. An ounce costs between $350 to $500. There is little competition for dispensaries and experts expect the same high prices when legal-use dispensaries open. People on Medicare or Medicaid can not get help with the costs, as these are federal programs and legal marijuana sales are still against federal laws. Private insurance companies do not cover the costs either. A bill was introduced in the state that would allow users to get help from the Victims of Crime Compensation Office, the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund, the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled program and the Senior Gold Prescription Discount Program.

Once dispensaries open, adults aged 21 or older will be able to buy one ounce at a time. Medical marijuana users can buy up to three ounces a month. A person will not have to be a New Jersey resident to make a purchase, but they can only consume it in legal locations in the state. It cannot cross state lines when the visitor leaves. People cannot consume marijuana in any public space, only a private residence. There is a bill in the works that would allow consumption lounges in licensed cannabis retail locations, but the lounge must be separate from the sales. These would help people who live in condos or apartment buildings where the owner bans recreational marijuana use.

In New Jersey unlike in Boston, you cannot grow even one plant without a cultivation license. If caught, a person can get a $25,000 fine and spend up to five years in prison. The state has eased many other laws relating to marijuana that are intended to reduce arrests, even for minors. Only one other state with legalized recreational marijuana prevents at home growing, although many limit it to a few plants. Even medical marijuana patients with a prescription cannot grow plants. Advocates are trying to change this, saying medical marijuana is very expensive and people have to wait in long lines to buy it. Critics say home growers would contribute to the illegal market and hurt the legal dispensaries.

In NJ,400 municipalities have banned recreational marijuana sales. Many opted-out so they could consider zoning and other regulations. The cities and towns can change their mind at any time. Many large cities, like Camden, said they simply want time to work on their own regulations to protect neighborhoods. With 67% of New Jersey voters favoring legalized recreational marijuana, many civic leaders expect municipalities to lift their ban to take advantage of economic development opportunities, jobs and more tax dollars.

New Jersey commercial real estate is notoriously expensive. In areas expected to become prime locations for recreational businesses are being sold for up to 50% over their market value. The real estate market is especially hot along the Hudson River across from Manhattan. East Orange, Flemington and Newark are also seeing real estate prices rise.

The Garden State currently has 117,000 registered medical marijuana patients. There are just 10 operators running 23 dispensaries. Nearly all of the dispensaries are located near the New York and PA borders. There are only two in Atlantic city and two more on the shore near New York and one in the middle of South Jersey. Most would-be operators blame licensing delays and the high cost of doing business in the state. Recreational marijuana dispensaries are facing the same hurdles.