Since the legalization of cannabis in New Jersey, many have been excited to experience the benefits of legal weed. However, the reality of buying legal weed in the state is far from what many anticipated.
With overzeaolus town governments ignoring local voters and instead playing politics with old school reefer madness tactics, the multi-state operator (MSO) cannabis companies have been able to set up shop, put out poor quality weed with even worse customer service, and have a stronghold on the market with little to no local community connection.
We understand this is a new, budding industry. These are unchartered waters for all of us, but this is not what 67% of the voters in NJ wanted.
Local Politics Ruining NJ Cannabis Industry Before It Starts
The hypocrisy towards legal cannabis in New Jersey is off the charts.
The 2020 cannabis legalization ballot measure was passed with the approval of 67% of the voters of New Jersey. Yet, many local politicians come out guns blazing against cannabis. Meanwhile, pharmacies with opiates and liquor licenses reign supreme in their communities and backyards.
Some towns had 78% voter approval and passed ordinances barring cannabis businesses of any kind from operating such as Audubon, Lindenwold, and Palmyra.
Even more egregious, Hopewell, and Roosevelt had 80% approval ratings and voted NO on cannabis businesses, and Fieldsboro at 82% voter approval, ignoring their constituents and voting NO on cannabis businesses of any kind operating in town.
For a complete list of municipalities that voted NO on cannabis click here.
For a complete list of municipalities that voted YES on cannabis click here.
Until these issues are resolved, unregulated, legacy, black/gray cannabis (…or whatever. you want to call it) will thrive. It’s here already. There is already cannabis in our communities and in our neighborhoods.
The good news, we think these problems are very fixable. The bad news is that others may not see the system as broken quite yet.
The legal cannabis market is riddled with issues that make purchasing legal weed a frustrating and inconvenient experience.
After surveying recent dispensary visitors, we wanted to share the most significant issues with buying legal weed in NJ.
The Worst NJ Patient and Cannabis Consumer Issues
1. Insane Pricing and Inconsistent Quality
Price and product inconsistency are the most significant issues with buying legal weed in NJ. The prices are ridiculously high, and insurance companies don’t cover the cost, making it challenging for patients who rely on cannabis for medical purposes. The product’s quality is also a major concern, as many consumers have reported that the product they purchase is not up to par with what they expected.
2. Limited Availability and Lack of Delivery Options
Another challenge with buying legal weed in NJ is the lack of consistent availability. Many dispensaries have limited hours of operation, and products are often out of stock. Moreover, customers cannot see or smell the product before purchase, making it difficult to make informed decisions. Additionally, the absence of delivery options makes it difficult for those who cannot physically visit a dispensary to access legal weed.
3. Dispensary Experience and Long Wait Times
The dispensary experience in NJ is a frustrating aspect of buying legal weed. Long lines and the need to deal with “budtenders” can be a daunting and time-consuming process. The dispensaries are often overcrowded, and wait times can be anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour.
4. Limited Product Selection and Lack of Market Competition
The extremely limited product selection is another major issue with buying legal weed in NJ. The selection is always in a massive state of flux, with products frequently going out of stock. Additionally, MSOs currently have a strong monopoly on NJ’s legal scene, limiting competition and stifling market growth.
5. Snobbish Behavior of Other Customers and Dispensary Employees
We know we know… everyone is an #OG weed person. Everyone’s friend is the best grower. Everyone knows everything. Yet, ‘here we are on this line together’ The attitude of some dispensary employees and the snobbish behavior of some customers are becoming problematic.
Many customers report feeling judged by dispensary employees and other customers. This pretentious and condescending attitude can create a toxic environment for those who simply want to purchase legal weed without judgment. Bring on the weed vending machines!
Tips for Navigating Buying Legal Weed in NJ
- Research before visiting a dispensary to ensure they have the products you need.
- Consider alternative delivery methods, such as online ordering and curbside pickup.
- Be patient and plan for long wait times.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek advice from dispensary employees.
- Read reviews online of the dispensary you plan to visit.
- If you encounter snobbish behavior from customers or employees, speak up or try to find a different local cannabis dispensary.
- Visit Heady NJ Dispensary Finder to get more information about local dispensaries near you in New Jersey.
Fix The Legal Cannabis Process In New Jersey
While the legalization of cannabis in NJ is a critically significant milestone, the new market is still riddled with challenges that need to be addressed. The issues with pricing, quality, availability, and selection need to be resolved ASAP to create a more accessible and user-friendly market. Dispensaries need to work on creating a more welcoming and inclusive environment for customers.
Many of us want a regulated, safe and also a FAIR and EQUITABLE market. Right now people feel like second-class citizens, so we will go where we are welcome, into the shadows. Until these issues are resolved, buying legal weed in New Jersey, the unregulated market will thrive and continue to grow.