PATERSON, N.J. (PIX11) — April 20 might be the internationally recognized day for celebrating marijuana, but in New Jersey, April 21 is more important: It’s the day Garden State residents over the age of 21 can officially buy the drug.
One Paterson dispensary, RISE, told PIX11 News they have hired extra staff in preparation. They expect a big surge in customers come Thursday.
New Jersey officials approved 13 marijuana dispensaries to sell upon opening. Marijuana entrepreneur Ben Kovler of Green Thumb Industries said it’s “been a long time coming.”
“It’s a big deal,” he said. “The war on drugs has not worked. It’s been a failure … this is a big moment.”
New Jersey isn’t the only state hoping recreational marijuana sale fire up the economy. New York has authorized the use of recreational marijuana, but the first stores aren’t expected to open until the fall.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said his city’s cannabis industry will have their budget seeing green. Officials are expecting it to add 20,000 jobs over the next three years, and generate about $1.3 billion in sales in 2022 alone.
Adams specifically wants this industry to help out the people who’ve suffered legal consequences in the past for using marijuana. He’s proposed a $4.8 million initiative to make that happen.
“It’s important for us that the SBS … actually reach people on the ground,” he said. “That’s crucial for me.”