Legal marijuana sales begin across New Jersey on Thursday

New Jersey cannabis users will be able to legally purchase products for recreational use starting Thursday.
The retail manager of one site set to begin sales in New Jersey says that he has been through this before in other states. He says the customers can expect large crowds and long lines on opening day.
“Out of the gate, we tend to see a lot of people – people are excited,” says Ben Kovler, chairman and CEO of Green Thumb Industries. “There is a ton of demand and around 9 million people in New Jersey and surrounding states.”
New Jersey has approved seven operators with 13 dispensary locations to begin selling recreational cannabis products. Those facilities have been working with local municipalities and police departments to handle potential crowds and traffic.
At RISE on Bloomfield Avenue in Bloomfield, crews spent Wednesday getting the shop ready, prepping the large parking lot, creating medical marijuana patient-only spots and installing concrete safety barriers in the front of the building. First sales will begin at 6 a.m.
“We are trying to invest in the building and consumer experience. It’s an exciting time where people have an alternative,” says Kover. “We open early to move the crowd through. I don’t know how the crowd will be, but we planned for contingencies for the crowds and parking. That’s what we are opening early before the morning rush.”
There will be extra security at Apothecarium Dispensary in Maplewood. There will also be overflow parking lots and even portable toilets. The first sales at this location begin at 9 a.m.
Elizabeth-based ZenLeaf is expecting to do more than triple its current medical marijuana sales. The facility has doubled the staff and brought in support teams from different states.
Potential customers are expected to begin lining up overnight so that they can be the first customers in line.