New Jersey’s recently launched legal cannabis market has racked up nearly $80 million worth of sales in the first ten weeks following its launch in late April.
The state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission released the sales figures in a report last week. Between April 21, when sales launched in the Garden State, and the end of June, tax revenue from recreational pot totaled $4,649,202. There was $79,698,831 in total sales on recreational cannabis during that same time frame.
Jeff Brown, the executive director of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission, said that the numbers indicate a healthy market with room for growth.
“The market is improving. It is performing as we expect with the current number of dispensaries, the spread of locations, and the high prices,” Brown said in a statement on Friday. “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.”
Dianna Houenou, the chair of the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission, echoed Brown’s optimism.
“New Jerseyans are looking forward to supporting new businesses – which will increase sales figures and generate more revenue to be reinvested in our communities,” Houenou said. “We are working to make that happen. We are issuing awards to start new businesses on their path to operation and look forward to the industry growth we see coming in the near future.”
After a long, oft-delayed rollout, New Jersey’s recreational cannabis market finally opened for business on April 21. Thousands of customers showed up for the grand opening, generating nearly $1.9 million worth of recreational pot sales on the first day.
“We expected sales to be substantial and the data shows that the market is effectively serving both adult-use consumers and patients,” Brown said in a statement at the time. “We continue to monitor inventory and access for patients and are prepared to take enforcement action against any [medical cannabis dispensary] that does not meet the requirements for patient access and supply.”
Voters in New Jersey approved a ballot measure in 2020 that legalized recreational pot use for adults aged 21 and older. The state legalized medical cannabis a decade prior.
In its report issued last week, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission said that medical cannabis sales in New Jersey “ticked up to $59,262,014” after suffering “a small decline to $55,838,072 in the first quarter of 2022.”
The $59.2 million figure, the commission said, “is more in line with sales figures the last quarter of 2021.”
“The demand for medicinal cannabis continues to be strong and we are committed to ensuring access for patients,” Brown said.
Although recreational pot sales have been strong in New Jersey, the road to launch was anything but smooth.
Adult-use sales were initially supposed to begin in February, but the state missed the deadline, prompting Nicholas Scutari, the president of the New Jersey state Senate, to call for hearings that looked into the reasons behind the delays.
“These delays are totally unacceptable,” Scutari said in a statement at the time. “We need to get the legal marijuana market up and running in New Jersey. This has become a failure to follow through on the public mandate and to meet the expectations for new businesses and consumers.”
In May, Brown testified at a hearing called by Scutari that lasted five hours.
Scutari said at the proceeding that his public pressure may have been the impetus for the market to launch the month prior.
“I’m confident that if we did not start this process, the adult weed market would still not be open in New Jersey,” Scutari said at the hearing.