The Impact of Legalized Recreational Marijuana on NJ Businesses

What Does the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Mean for Businesses in NJ?

New Jersey voters have authorized a constitutional amendment that legalizes marijuana for personal, non-medical, and recreational use by residents 21 and older. This amendment now allows for the state of New Jersey to create a regulated market for the cannabis industry.

In addition to the state’s age restriction on recreational use, the state has imposed a 6.625 percent state tax[1] as well as an additional municipalities 2% tax. Governor Phil Murphy feels that the potential of extra tax revenue can help ease a post pandemic recovery,[2] create new jobs, as well as generate about $126 million[3] a year once the market is established.

NJ Cannabis Dispensaries

New Jersey is currently home to twelve dispensaries[4] that currently serve an estimated 95,000 patents. The goal of State Senator Nicholas Scutari is to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell to the general public immediately. Dispensaries however, are not prepared to supply their patients as well as an additional estimated 1 million customers. Meaning that this process can take anywhere from months to a year, before recreational marijuana becomes a reality in New Jersey. During this potentially lengthy process, dispensaries will find themselves in need for knowledgeable employees, scientists, and botanists to handle the rapid demand coming from the influx of recreational users.

NJ Cannabis Grow Facilities

With the legalization of recreational use marijuana, cannabis grow facilities will need to up their supply in preparation for these new consumers. This may be an additional contributing factor to a slower legalization process due to the time needed to grow cannabis. Additional cultivation takes between 3-4 months[5] to completely harvest. Additionally, NJ’s cannabis growth facilities are going to require more staff to meet the demand and additional botanists to specialize in the cultivation process.

Cannabis Tracking and Transportation in NJ

States that have legalized recreational marijuana use typically use a statewide system to record the inventory and movement of cannabis through the commercial cannabis supply chain.[6] Typically these track and trace systems are used by all licensed cannabis cultivation botanists, manufacturers, retailers, etc. With Massachusetts[7] being the closest legal state in proximity to New Jersey, it’s likely that NJ will follow similar tracking and transportation efforts. These new efforts can open the job market due to the overwhelming demand on the manufacturing level, retail level, and laboratory testing level.

If you’re looking to stay up to date on the latest happenings in NJ regarding legalization, check out our blog at Herban Creative!


  1. https://ballotpedia.org/New_Jersey_Public_Question_1,_Marijuana_Legalization_Amendment_(2020)
  2. https://www.nj.com/marijuana/2020/07/murphy-says-legalizing-weed-is-incredibly-smart-to-offset-budget-woes-triggered-by-coronavirus.html
  3. https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2018/Bills/SCR/183_E1.PDF
  4. https://www.nj.com/marijuana/2020/10/medical-cannabis-dispensaries-form-trade-group-ahead-of-legal-weed-referendum.html
  5. https://www.growweedeasy.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-grow-weed
  6. https://mgretailer.com/business/retail-merchandise/track-and-trace-systems-are-still-working-out-the-kinks/
  7. https://www.biotrack.com/massachusetts/
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