Since the legal sale of recreational weed began on April 21, the state's cannabis dispensers have been selling about $5 million worth of recreational marijuana each week.
A month after its launch, consumers have purchased $24 million worth of recreational marijuana, regulators said at a meeting Tuesday that approved more pharmacy licenses.
Another five dispensaries for purely medical purposes will soon be able to sell cannabis for adults, joining the 12 dispensaries that started selling recreational weed on April 21.
“It's really just the beginning and I think it shows there's still a lot of growth in this market,” said Jeff Brown, executive director of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission, which oversees the state marijuana market.
Cannabis turnover recreational sector
Sales of $24 million in the 12 pharmacies that can sell recreational cannabis — a 13th location only received final approval two weeks ago — are lower compared to other states. In Arizona, which launched its market at 73 locations, the state reported sales of $32 million in its first full month of market opening. In New Mexico, which launched in April with at least 100 stores, sales reached nearly $40 million.
Pharmacies in New Jersey totaled about $5 million a week. The commission expects this number to rise as more licenses are approved.
At Tuesday's meeting, a total of 46 conditional licenses were awarded: 22 for growers, 13 for manufacturers and 11 for recreational retailers. Four test labs were also approved to operate. It is not clear when the recreational retailers can start selling. There are still local regulatory hurdles for owners that need to be removed.
The commission has also removed the “medical only” rule for licenses it has granted in the 2019 application cycle, meaning that instead of working as a medical dispensary for at least one year, licensees only need to prove they have sufficient supply for both medical and recreational demand.
Brown said the commission will issue quarterly reports starting next month on the number of licensees who are female, colored or veteran. The state's marijuana law requires those groups to make up 30% of licensees. This is to prevent discrimination.
The next committee meeting is scheduled for June 23.
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