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Trouble-Free First Day of Legal Adult-use Cannabis Sales in New Jersey

While lines were long, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJCRC) said there were no significant issues yesterday at the opening of legal adult-use cannabis sales.

They noted that 12 cannabis dispensaries across New Jersey opened for adult-use sales for the first time yesterday. The 13th location out of the existing 23 medical cannabis dispensaries was Curaleaf’s Edgewater Park dispensary in Burlington County.

“We encourage everyone to be safe by buying only from licensed dispensaries and by starting low and going slow. Especially those who are new to cannabis or who haven’t consumed cannabis in a long time,” said NJCRC Executive Director Jeff Brown. “The laws against impaired driving apply to being high. Our guests from neighboring states should remember it is illegal to transport cannabis across state lines.”

Good thing no one is stopping every single car at the border crossings to check.

Many Eager

Those who consider themselves law-abiding citizens have been eager to consume cannabis that comes from a legal source with a label listing the properties of products like the Nutrition Facts on food packages. Community leaders with families and stock portfolios are also less likely to maintain a relationship with an unofficial cannabis dispensary. Thus, the new adult-use dispensaries that 67 percent of New Jerseyans voted for are very attractive.

National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML) NJ Executive Director Michael Chazukow noted that New Jersey consumers have enjoyed more than a year of decriminalization. 

“For years our Garden State continued to have one of the highest cannabis arrest rates in the country. Thankfully, those arrests stopped and thousands of pending cases were released,” he said. 

“This is a day for gratitude about how much progress the Garden State has made in ending the failed policy of cannabis prohibition,” Doctors for Cannabis Regulation founder/NORML NJ board member Dr. David Nathan said.

However, “the legalization and regulation of cannabis cannot be considered complete until… limited home cultivation is allowed for personal use,” he added.

Adult-use cannabis customers in New Jersey can buy up to one ounce of flower or up to five grams of concentrates, resins, oils, or 10 100mg packages of edibles in a single purchase.

An informal poll conducted by Heady NJ asked whether people would buy adult-use cannabis from the black market or the legal dispensaries. At the time of publication, out of the 379 who answered, 76 percent said they would buy from the black market.

This has been a common response from those who prefer the longstanding unofficial market. It has a far wider range of products that are more affordable and stronger at more locations than the limited selection of the existing adult-use cannabis dispensaries in New Jersey, which are all Multi-State Operator (MSO) corporations owned by mostly white men none of whom are from New Jersey.

Many members of the New Jersey cannabis community remain very unhappy at the lack of progress on homegrow and subsequently consider cannabis legalization incomplete. Moreover, they are exceedingly critical of the legal adult-use cannabis market as it currently exists.

NJCRC Issues Reminders for Safe Consumption for Legal Adult-use Sales

The NJCRC has released reminders for cannabis consumers they wish to promote:

  • Do: Expect long lines and wait your turn to be served. 
  • Do: Start low and go slow. Follow product instructions, and remember ingestible products can take longer to take effect than smoking or vaping.  Call NJ Poison Center at 800-222-1222 if you are concerned you may have ingested or used too much.
  • Do: Store your legal cannabis products securely, out of the reach of kids.  Legal cannabis products are in child-safe packaging. Always keep them secure and out of the reach of anyone under the age of 21. 
  • Don’t: Drive while high.  Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal and dangerous.
  • Don’t: Cross state lines.  It is illegal to transport legal cannabis products outside of New Jersey. 
  • Don’t: Consumers can’t purchase more than an ounce in a single transaction.
  • Do: Be safe, be smart, follow the rules: One ounce is the maximum amount of adult-use cannabis, a dispensary can sell a consumer. Possession of up to six ounces has been decriminalized.

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