The state of New Jersey is preparing to launch its recreational cannabis market in coming weeks and is set to become one of the largest markets on the East Coast.
Annual sales are expected to top $2 billion within a few years.

The state is positioned to beat rival New York to the punch and to match, if not exceed, Massachusetts in annual adult-use sales.

The adult used cannabis market was approved by voters in November 2020 and is expected to launch with only a handful or so of the state’s existing medical cannabis operators.

Existing medical marijuana operators might get as much as an 18-month head start on some new cannabis businesses, according to an industry expert.

Gov. Phil Murphy hinted last month that the market could launch “within weeks,” and state regulators indicated recently that they were nearly finished reviewing applications by five current MMJ operators.

Industry officials say that the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission could take up and approve those applications at its March 24 meeting. It’s not sure how fast sales would then be allowed to begin.

“We could have only five operators trying to meet the initial demand of the entire state,” said Rob DiPisa, co-chair of the cannabis law practice at Cole Schotz in New Jersey.

“It’s almost naive to think we aren’t going to run into some issues.”

MJBizDaily anticipates that New Jersey recreational marijuana sales will ramp up from $625 million to $775 million in 2022 to more than $2 billion a year by 2025 or 2026.

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