New Jersey is set to begin its first legal recreational cannabis sales this Thursday, April 21, exactly one day after the international stoner holiday of 4/20.
If you needed any more evidence that politicians and regulators have no clue what they're doing when it comes to legal weed, well, here it is.
Of course, cynicism aside, New Jersey is launching its first recreational sales in a different environment than, say, Colorado did in 2014, or California in 2018. Namely, there's a worldwide supply chain disruption caused by the Covid pandemic and people getting fed up with their bosses' shit. Those supply chain issues can affect all levels of the cannabis industry, from packaging to fertilizers to grow lights to paper needed to print receipts or keep records.
There was also a delay caused by the state regulators, to ensure medical cannabis patients and dispensaries got first dibs amid recreational legalization.
"It's a thoughtful delay, right. If we open the floodgates too early, and we run into some serious supply chain issues, we may have to hit pause," Robert DiPisa, an attorney with the pot law firm Cole Schotz, told CBS.
April 20, also known as 420, is the unofficially official stoner holiday. Since legal sales first began in Colorado, April 20 has traditionally been a day where state-legal weed businesses break sales records, as cannabis consumers hit the stores in droves to stock up on primo pot goodies. Several large cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Denver, and Portland will host public celebrations where tokers will gather in public and blaze openly in defiance of prohibition and consumption laws.
Despite New Jersey's incredibly cautious approach to rolling out legal sales, the state still stands to make many, many pretty pennies on legalization.
According to Ben Kovler, the chief executive of Green Thumb Industries, New Jersey's industry could be worth $3 billion, especially since it's one of only two states on the US East Coast to go fully legal, the New York Times reported.
"This is a historic step in our work to create a new cannabis industry," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted last week.
Starting on April 21st, adults ages 21+ will be able to legally purchase cannabis and cannabis products without a medical card.— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) April 14, 2022
This is a historic step in our work to create a new cannabis industry. Learn more: https://t.co/MsSRlUBPZ8.
Well, here's to NJ first legal 4/20... in 2023. Buddems up!