First recreational-only marijuana retailers open in New Jersey

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New Jersey’s cannabis regulator says the state’s first two recreational-only marijuana retail stores are now open after being granted licenses.

“The state’s 28 other dispensaries selling recreational cannabis expanded into adult-use after starting as medicinal cannabis businesses,” the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) said Friday in a news release.

The two new adult-use cannabis retailers are Earth & Ivy, in New Brunswick, and Nova Farms, in Woodbury.

The Woodbury store is located in an “impact zone,” designated by the New Jersey government as a municipality “disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs for particular consideration in New Jersey’s burgeoning cannabis market.”

“Over the last two years we have grown the number of (medical marijuana dispensaries) open to patients and overseen several of them through to expansion into recreational cannabis,” CRC executive director Jeff Brown said in a statement.

“Now retailers are opening exclusively to serve adult-use customers.”

The regulator said New Jersey currently has 38 cannabis retailers open for business, including 13 that exclusively serve the medical market.

The CRC also announced a redesigned online directory for consumers to find licensed cannabis stores.

Adult-use cannabis sales in New Jersey launched in April 2022.

A cap on marijuana cultivation licenses in New Jersey was lifted in February, although aspiring growers face several challenges to operate in the state.