NJ legal weed will launch in 3 more stores on Wednesday
EDITOR’S NOTE: NJ Cannabis Insider is hosting an in-person business networking event on July 14 at The Asbury in Asbury Park. Tickets are limited.
New Jersey adult recreational weed sales will begin this week at three central Jersey stores.
Stores in Eatontown, Woodbridge and Union that currently sell medical marijuana will launch legal weed sales at 10 a.m. Wednesday, owner AYR Wellness told NJ Advance Media on Sunday.
Currently, the three stores, which operate under the Garden State Medical Dispensary banner, are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
The company plans to issue a press release about the opening date and hours on Monday before Wall Street opens, according to a company representative.
The three stores mean a total of 16 stores will be selling adult weed in New Jersey next Wednesday.
AYR has taken steps over the past year to enter the lucrative New Jersey cannabis market. It acquired Garden State Medical Dispensary, which for years has sold medical marijuana at dispensaries in Eatontown, Woodbridge and Union under the blue and white banner of the GSMD.
The company’s quest to gain state approvals to begin offering adult recreational weed in central Jersey was first reported by NJ Advance Media early last month.
The state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission approved AYR’s application to launch the sale of adult recreational weed in central Jersey at its May 24 meeting after seven other medical dispensaries, also known as name of alternative treatment centers, were approved the previous month.
AYR was the only alternative treatment center among the eight that initially applied to the CRC which was denied approval on April 11.
Seven ATCs – Curaleaf, Verano, GTI, Acreage, Columbia Care, Ascend and TerrAscend – launched adult weed sales on April 21 at a dozen locations. Curaleaf at Edgewater Park became the 13th location to feature adult weed sales on May 25.
On May 24, the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission also approved TerrAscend, to offer adult weed at its Lodi facility; and Ascend at his dispensary in Montclair.
The Montclair and Lodi stores have not yet opened for the sale of adult weed, according to the owners.
After AYR received state approvals on May 24, company spokesman Rob Vanisko said the densely populated central Jersey market of 3.4 million was underserved. for adult recreational cannabis and provided AYR with the perfect opportunity for expansion.
The Woodbridge Dispensary adjoins the busy Route 1 corridor at 950 US-1 and is adjacent to the St. Georges Crossing Mall with a ShopRite, Pet Smart, Verizon, House of Wine & Liquor, among other stores.
The uninterrupted traffic in front of the Woodbridge AYR store could be seen and felt during a visit last week.
Medical cannabis customer Evan Lark, 37, from Newark, said he was looking forward to the launch of recreational weed sales there.
Lark, a package handler for UPS, said he used medical marijuana to calm his nerves and boost his energy levels. His medical card costs $220 a year. He said each visit to the Garden State Medical Dispensary in Woodbridge earns him between $40 and $100 for his favorite floral products.
“It will be worth the price of my medical card,” Lark said, after leaving the store last week. “As soon as the state passed (recreational weed for adults), all I saw was deals, deals, deals on medical cannabis products. The new competition is driving down the price for medical cannabis for me, so go for it.
For Ty Johnson, 30, of Woodbridge, that will mean a much shorter commute. He will no longer have to go to Elizabeth to buy mature weed.
“It will be so much more convenient,” Johnson, a truck driver, said as he stood Popeye’s in the mall next to the Woodbridge Garden State Medical Dispensary last Tuesday. “I live in the area, so that’s a good thing, especially with gas prices.”
Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to NJ.com
Suzette Parmley can be attached to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter: @SuzParmley