When will recreational marijuana sales begin in NJ?
If you were hoping to walk into a cannabis dispensary next month to buy weed for recreational use, it does not look like that will happen.
State regulators seem poised to miss a self-imposed deadline to allow recreational sales by Feb. 22, and there is no indication when such sales will begin.
The state Cannabis Regulatory Commission is due to meet today, but few of the outstanding issues blocking recreational sales are expected to be resolved.
Missing deadlines is nothing new for the commission. Frustrations over permit approvals and other key regulatory issues have been building ever since the commission was formed.
Some applicants to sell and grow marijuana waited over two-years to have their permits approved. .
In October, 2021, the state approved 14 permits, mostly for growers. Others are still waiting
A backlog of permit approvals is just one hurdle.
There are also issues about what products, such as edibles, will be sold and in what forms.
New Jersey law currently bans most edibles, including gummies and other candy forms of cannabis, in an effort to keep the products from appealing to children.
Ken Wolski, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana – New Jersey, said the amount and type of marijuana needed for therapeutic reasons is highly individualized and that anything a person needs should be available to them.
“Any form of edibles should be permitted as long as the regulatory procedures are followed. There should be no arbitrary exclusions placed on cannabis products,” Wolski said.
CRC members have also expressed concerns about supply issues.
The state has seen a huge increase in the number of individuals seeking medical cards to buy cannabis, triggering concerns recreational sales could impact their ability to get medicinal weed.
CRC executive director Jeff Brown says the commission is moving as fast as it can, but told NJ.com "there is no firm commitment on timing of when recreational sales will begin."
Brown also cited a "lack of municipal approval" as another reason recreational sales have been delayed.
Municipalities were given the option to opt out of recreational sales within their borders. More than 60% of all New Jersey towns have done so.
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