New Jersey became the 19th state in the US to legalize marijuana sales for recreational use on Thursday, one day after the events of “420 day.” Hundreds of people raced to already-existing medicinal dispensaries a few hours later, where the substance could now be sold to anyone over 21. Following the state’s first recreational marijuana sale, large crowds of people rushed to dispensaries in New Jersey.
Since legalization, almost 57% of New Jersey individuals who participated in a poll reported having occasionally or frequently smelled marijuana in public, according to the William J. Hughes Centre for Public Policy in Stockton.
Even with the state’s weed market still booming, it’s important to find out which county has the greatest rate of usage. The present essay explores this fascinating subject matter, offering valuable perspectives on the distinct demographics and cultural elements of the county that underpin its elevated cannabis usage tendencies.
Northern New Jersey has three of the seven alternative treatment facilities, South Jersey has three, and central New Jersey has one, according to a story from the New York Post.
Although nearby New York recently legalized marijuana use for recreational purposes, retail establishments have not yet opened. Uncertainty surrounds the number of New Yorkers who ventured into New Jersey to benefit from its recently softened rules, but those who refer to themselves as “cannabis tourists” have been advised that bringing marijuana into the state illegally is still a federal crime.
As you can see, at 25%, Hudson County has New Jersey’s highest percentage of marijuana use. With a rate of 20%, Bergen County has the second highest rate. With rates ranging from 18% to 0.5%, the other counties lag well behind.
Remember that these rates are approximations and might not be totally correct. They do, however, offer a broad picture of New Jersey’s cannabis usage trends.
Before it was light, scores of Garden State residents were be seen waiting in queue outside clinics in Paterson and Maplewood to make their purchases.
Rise in Paterson is one of those dispensaries; patrons there received complimentary doughnuts while reggaetón music played on speakers.
- The New Jersey Marijuana Regulatory Commission’s statistics indicates that Hudson County has the highest rate of cannabis consumption in the state. With sales numbers above those of neighboring counties, this urban center—home to Jersey City and Hoboken—has continuously shown a significant desire for cannabis goods. Hudson County leads the state in cannabis consumption for a number of reasons.
- The thriving arts and entertainment sector in Hudson County promotes an open and experimental culture that includes the acceptance of cannabis use. Many of the county’s eateries, music venues, and bars function as communal spaces where people can consume marijuana without feeling judged. The high rate of cannabis consumption in the county is further supported by this cultural acceptance.
- There is no doubt that the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in New Jersey, especially in Hudson County, has contributed to the rise in marijuana use. Cannabis is now easier to obtain thanks to the removal of legal restrictions and the opening of authorized dispensaries. There is no doubt that Hudson County people’ increased marijuana use is a result of this accessibility.
Additionally, 29% of respondents in New Jersey reported that they have frequently or occasionally smelt marijuana emanating from a neighbor’s house or flat. Nevertheless, 49% of those surveyed claimed they never smell their neighbors out.
In general, non-marijuana users were more likely to find the smell bothersome, according to Stockton. Though smoking marijuana in public is illegal in New Jersey, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission of the state has authorized sites for people to use marijuana in the open that are referred to as “cannabis consumption areas.” Critics claim that the venues are less appealing because of several restrictions, including the need that they be connected to marijuana dispensaries and the prohibition on food and beverage sales.
John Froonjian, director of the Hughes Centre, stated in a statement that “not much thought was given to the issue of the smell of marijuana becoming part of the public landscape in New Jersey.” Because there aren’t many areas where it’s allowed to consume these goods, individuals are lighting up in parking lots, parks, festivals, and on the streets.
Froonjian stated, “Driving while intoxicated by any substance is a bad idea that causes accidents.” “Responsible users should not drive after using marijuana.”
A sizable majority, 73%, felt that developing a roadside test to gauge a person’s degree of marijuana impairment was very or very significant. According to the poll, non-users were more inclined to think that having a test like this was important.
In light of this, the regulatory commission last week declared the launch of a nationwide campaign that is centered on the responsible use of marijuana and includes advice against driving while intoxicated. In keeping with the “Cannabis Smart. Cannabis Safe” slogan, the commission apparently intends to encourage marijuana users who are inebriated and unable to drive to utilize the upcoming delivery services.
Driving 25 minutes from his Union City home, 23-year-old Daniel Garcia said, “I’m just excited that everything is opening up legally.”
For reasons of logistics, sales started one day after April 20, or 4/20, America’s unofficial national cannabis day.
A commission spokesman, Toni-Anne Blake, told the Times that choosing 4/20 for opening day would have created insurmountable logistical issues for patients and other buyers, nearby towns, and municipalities.
Analysts and business leaders predict the market will grow to be worth more than $2 billion in a few years. In fiscal year 2023, cannabis revenue of $121 million is projected by Governor Phil Murphy’s proposed budget, primarily from taxes and fees.
According to the commission, there are now 130,000 medical marijuana patients in New Jersey, and there are approximately 800,000 potential recreational users.
“The objective is to divert individuals from the illicit market and place them in the secure, authorized consumption.
Executive director of the nonprofit Amol Sinha stated, “That’s the whole point here: making sure we’re pursuing equity every step of the way and ending our reliance on a criminal response for something that people consume all over the country.”
Ascend’s president, Frank Perullo, reported that as part of the ramp-up to Thursday, the company’s Rochelle Park location added 50 parking spaces and increased its employment to 125.
The commission has received hundreds of applications from new businesses, but at first, medicinal marijuana dispensaries will be the only locations that are permitted. Priority consideration will be given to those owned by minorities, women, handicapped veterans, and those whose owners have marijuana convictions.
A significant portion of cannabis revenue generated by the state is mandated by law to be allocated to communities who have suffered the most during the ‘war on drugs.’
Executives in the cannabis industry anticipate that a successful launch in New Jersey would inspire action from other east coast states, pointing out that the majority of Americans favor legalizing marijuana according to polls.
Curaleaf CEO Joe Bayern stated, “It’s time for legislators to catch up with the American consumer.”
New Jersey, California, New York, and Arizona are among the 19 states in the United States that have legalized cannabis usage for recreational purposes as of April 2022. Twenty more states permit the drug’s use in medical contexts.
Governor Kathy Hochul of New York granted permits to 52 nearby marijuana producers last week so they could cultivate cannabis for recreational use by adults. Sales of recreational cannabis are anticipated to start later this year after New York State legalized it last year.
She tweeted on Wednesday, “Legalization of cannabis for adult use is about more than a day on the calendar.” It has to do with generating opportunities and jobs. It’s about helping farmers and small businesses. It’s about making amends for past wrongs.