Legal marijuana dispensaries in the Garden State saw a 3rd quarter flush with cash, as sales receipts topped more than $116 million.

State officials said if medical marijuana sales were also factored in, sales topped $177 million for the same span between July and September.

During the third quarter, 20 dispensaries were licensed to sell legal weed for recreational adult use statewide — all of them owned by large corporations, which had already begun as medicinal dispensaries before expanding as the market opened in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission has said that local, small business owners finally being allowed to join the market is a top priority for the new year.

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Three dozen licenses — including 15 for dispensaries — have been awarded to New Jersey entrepreneurs.

By mid-September, hopeful owners of smaller, independent cannabis shops were frustrated.

“We are looking forward to seeing local, small business owners participate in this lucrative market,” New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Dianna Houenou said in a written release.

“Our priority application process as well as new initiatives like the no-cost Cannabis Training Academy being launched by New Jersey Business Action Center in early 2023 are paving that path for them to be included," she continued.

While there was an increase in medicinal cannabis sales, recreational sales saw a 46% jump in sales over the 2nd quarter (between April and June).

Zen Leaf marijuana dispensary in Elizabeth on Thursday, April 21, 2022. (Edwin J. Torres/NJ Governor’s Office).
Zen Leaf marijuana dispensary in Elizabeth on Thursday, April 21, 2022. (Edwin J. Torres/NJ Governor’s Office).

’Budding’ NJ pot sales

In the first month that sales were legal, according to Cannabis Regulatory Commission data released in May, a dozen dispensaries sold more than $24 million in recreational marijuana.

Then between April and June, an expanded number of legal dispensaries sold nearly $80 million in recreational cannabis.

By mid-December in addition to 20 dispensaries selling recreational cannabis, another 10 remained dedicated to medicinal cannabis sales to registered patients, only.

“New Jersey is only seeing the beginning of what is possible for cannabis,” NJCRC Executive Director Jeff Brown said in a written statement on Friday.

“We have now awarded 36 annual licenses for recreational cannabis businesses to New Jersey entrepreneurs, including 15 for dispensaries. Those businesses alone will be a significant growth of the market. With more locations and greater competition, we expect the customer base to grow and prices to come down,” he continued.

Here's where NJ legal weed is sold

The number of recreational cannabis dispensaries continues to grow, with close to two dozen state approvals given since the first adult recreational sales in the state back in April. Here is where the open sites are located.

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