New Jersey has sold nearly $80 million of recreational Cannabis in just over two months of adult-use retail sales.
After a lengthy legislative battle that included seemingly endless negotiations and numerous rewrites of a legalization measure, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy signed an adult-use Cannabis bill into law in February 2021.
Over a year later, on April 21, 2022, the Garden State officially launched its retail sales program with 12 hybrid shops that are licensed to provide both medicinal and recreational Cannabis.
According to the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC), which oversees New Jersey’s marijuana industry, the state totaled $79.7 million in adult-use sales from the start of the retail program on April 21 through the end of the fiscal year on June 30.
Gov. Murphy estimated that New Jersey would take in $4 million in retail sales tax revenue by the end of the fiscal year. That projection was incredibly close to the $4.65 million the Garden State actually generated in that time period. Murphy’s new budget anticipates collecting $19 million in Cannabis sales tax revenue in the new fiscal year.
The Rec Marijuana Market Moving Forward
Nearly $220,000 of the $80 million New Jersey has generated through retail sales thus far is earmarked to aid social equity applicants who have been impacted by the drug war.
“The market is improving … It is performing as we expect with the current number of dispensaries, the spread of locations and the high prices … As more Cannabis businesses come online, consumers won’t have to travel as far to make purchases, and prices will fall with increased competition, the market will do even better,” CRC Executive Director Jeff Brown explained.
While officials hope to launch standalone licensed adult-use retailers by the end of the year, the current market in the Garden State has increased from 12 hybrid dispensaries to 18 locations throughout the state. However, all shops currently licensed to provide recreational Cannabis are owned by eight multistate operators. While this system was necessary to move up the launch of retail sales, it is not indicative of the industry New Jersey envisioned when it passed its adult-use law.