‘An opportunity we couldn’t miss.’ Paterson dispensary begins legal marijuana sales
Recreational marijuana is now on sale in New Jersey. A dozen locations across the state began selling the products early Thursday morning.
One such location was Rise Dispensary in Paterson. The first legal sale of cannabis occurred at 6 a.m.
“I’m really excited to see how it’s going to go here in New Jersey,” says Brandon Brooks.
Brooks came in from New York state. News 12 found him on a steady but short line. He says that he drove just over an hour to make a legal purchase. He and other customers said that it was a smooth process.
“It’s not that bad. I expected it to be longer. I’m glad people are coming out,” Brooks says. “It’s great to see people like me are no longer being incarcerated for simple possession.”
Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh says that while he is personally not a fan of marijuana, he is a fan of what it can do for his city and its residents.
“This was an opportunity we couldn’t miss. The employment opportunity, the revenue that would come in. It’s a new stream of revenue and it addresses social justice issues,” he says.
Sayegh knows that some Paterson residents will still buy marijuana illegally on the streets, but he says that the city will deal with those issues as they come up and that they will learn as they go.
“We want to encourage people to do things lawfully in the city. But as you know with alcohol, even though they lifted prohibition – and this is like lifting prohibition – you’ll always have scofflaws. But we are meeting with public safety in Paterson, so we are prepared,” the mayor says.
He says that New Jersey will also learn from states that have been through this before.