It’s a big day for the 8 million people of New Jersey. In this American state stuck to New York, 16 stores can officially sell cannabis to adults. And it’s a classic for every opening day : the queues are long. Some customers arrived during the night, to buy their favorite products as soon as the store opened at 6am.
— Jessica Beym (@jessbeym) April 21, 2022
Like a wink, state authorities chose April 21 to lift the curtain, the day after 4/20, International Cannabis Smokers’ Day. ” It’s really awesome ! If I get stopped driving on the way home, and a policeman asks me if I have drugs, I could answer him: only that “, laughs Michael, a consumer interviewed by ABC News.
“It’s the end of the second prohibition”, in reference to the prohibition of alcohol in 1920, rejoices Ben Kovler, the boss of a dispensary. He will be able to sell his first customers one ounce (28 grams) of flowers, 5 grams of concentrates or 1000mg ofedibles. However, perishable foods such as infused cakes are prohibited.
At first, prices will undoubtedly be low. Indeed, New Jersey will not tax cannabis heavily, at least initially. 6% will be deducted from each sale, in addition to the 2% municipal taxes. 70% of these taxes will go to those affected by the prohibition of cannabis, in particular black people.
Cannabis Tourism for New Yorkers
In the state, 16 stores are licensed to sell cannabis. This is a godsend for this state, since it is currently the only one among its neighbors.
Indeed, neither New York, nor Pennsylvania, nor Delaware (yet) have a legal recreational cannabis market on their soil. For the first, sales must start by 2023; in Pennsylvania and Delaware, only medical cannabis is permitted. Residents of neighboring states will therefore be able to take the train or the car to do “cannabis tourism”.
It’s a shame, because New Jersey is often considered in American culture as a boring state. For a majority of city dwellers, it is the very definition of the residential suburb where nothing ever happens, with an unintelligent middle class.
To attract these newcomers, several stores in New Jersey are located near the major cities of New York and Philadelphia. But customers won’t have to cross their state’s border with cannabis. In Pennsylvania, for example, possession of less than 30 grams is punishable by a fine and 30 days in jail.