Governor Murphy signed the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act into law, legalizing and regulating cannabis use and possession for adults 21 years and older and decriminalizing marijuana and hashish possession, A-1897 (P.L.2021,c.19).
On November 3rd, 2020, New Jersey Voters made their way to the ballots and voted to legalize cannabis within the state as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment.
Since then, the state has passed 3 bills related to cannabis: A21, which legalized personal possession and use of cannabis for its citizens and removed the schedule I label. A1897 which served as the state’s social equity and criminal reform bill related to cannabis convictions opened the door to expungement of records for thousands affected by the War on Drugs. And finally, S3254 outlined penalties for possession of cannabis for minors.
Over the next 24 months since legalization, the state will be handing out no more than 37 Cultivation licenses, as well as allow for the existing 12 medical cannabis operators to pivot into recreational sales as well.
30% of the licenses awarded will be given to women, minorities, or disabled veterans, with priority going to municipalities disproportionately affected by factors such as unemployment, poverty, or the previous prohibition of cannabis. With New York having been recently legalized as well, this region of the country is set to become a hotbed for cannabis entrepreneurs and connoisseurs looking to penetrate the legal market.
By The Numbers
In the first 10 weeks of legalized sales of cannabis, between April 21 and the end of the fiscal year on June 30, the state generated $79.7 million according to the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission. With this volume of sales, the state is on pace to make over $400 million in total sales over the course of one calendar year, putting it ahead of other states like Oregon, and on pace with New Mexico in first-year earnings.
Of the almost $80 million generated in the first 10 weeks of sales, $219,482 was collected in Social Equity Excise Fees that are set to go to programs that aid disadvantaged minority license applicants. The success of the legal market has outperformed the projections from Governor Phil Murphy by almost a quarter, making New Jersey an optimistic and strong market for businesses looking to enter the market.
in Sales within the first 10 weeks of legalization
Projected Revenue of Cannabis Sales in 2022
Collected in Social Equity Excise Fees
Currently, the adult use licenses available for acquisition in New Jersey are as follows:
A Cultivator can grow cannabis within the state of New Jersey.
A Retailer can purchase cannabis and cannabis products from licensed cultivators, manufacturers, and/or wholesalers for sale to consumers in a retail store.
A Microbusiness must have 10 employees or less and operate within 2,500 sq feet or less.
A Wholesaler can store, buy and/or sell bulk cannabis and cannabis products.
A Manufacturer can product cannabis products and purchase cannabis from Cultivators, Wholesalers and Distributors.
A Delivery Operator can transport retail purchased cannabis and cannabis products to consumers.
A Distributor can transport bulk cannabis and cannabis products.