New Jersey Cannabis Sales Are Firing Up Expansion

With just 12 dispensaries open in the state, New Jersey still managed to ring up $24 million in sales in the first month. That’s roughly $5 million a week. According to the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission, “On the first day of adult-use sales in New Jersey, 12 participating dispensaries sold cannabis and cannabis products to 12,438 recreational cannabis customers for a total gross sale of nearly $1.9 million.” BDSA expects New Jersey to be the third-largest contributor to overall US sales growth by 2026 and is forecast to generate annual revenue of $2.3 billion in total legal cannabis sales.

“We expected sales to be substantial and the data shows that the market is effectively serving both adult-use consumers and patients,” said Jeff Brown, executive director of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. “We continue to monitor inventory and access for patients and are prepared to take enforcement action against any ATC that does not meet the requirements for patient access and supply.” The CRC has approved 102 conditional licenses to date.

Columbia Care

This is sparking the existing operators to keep ramping up as licenses expand. Columbia Care Inc. (NEO: CCHW) (CSE: CCHW) (OTCQX: CCHWF)  said it has started operations in its new, approximately 270,000-square-foot cultivation and production facility in New Jersey. Col-Care has also begun using post-harvest automation equipment and expanded its adult-use shopping hours at both of its Cannabist locations in Deptford and Vineland to the maximum number of hours allotted by the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC). The company said it received approval from the New Jersey CRC to do so on May 25, 2022, along with the approval to begin using post-harvest automation equipment. Col-Care said the introduction of this equipment will reduce the “harvest to shelf” time for products, making it easier to meet the rapidly-growing patient and customer demand.

“After ten years of navigating the ever-evolving cannabis industry in various markets, we have so many lessons learned and have been able to bring those to bear in how we approach New Jersey, knowing how it will serve as a model for those east coast states transitioning to adult use in the near term. We are proud of how we managed to scale alongside the demand in the last month and are thrilled to be able to serve more patients, customers, and wholesale partners with our newest cultivation facility and equipment,” said Nicholas Vita, CEO, of Columbia Care. “As always, we owe a debt of gratitude to the CRC as well as local officials and our communities for their support in our efforts to make New Jersey one of the strongest cannabis markets in the world and a beacon for the industry.”
In addition to the new 270,000-square-foot cultivation, manufacturing, and processing facility, Col-Care also operates a 50,000-square-foot facility, located in Vineland. The company has a third retail location in development in New Jersey, which is expected to open later in 2022.

Green Thumb Industries

Green Thumb Industries (OTC: GTBIF) CFO Anthony Georgiadis said on the company’s recent earnings conference call, “New Jersey adult sales kicked off on 4/21 and early results look yearly similar to Illinois circa, January 2020. We just completed a wholesale facility expansion in Paterson. We have a new facility that’s about to break ground. So, long-term, we’re confident in our prospects of being a big player within the wholesale side of the New Jersey market.” The company did acknowledge the lack of products on the adult-use side of the store versus the medical side, but that is due to the state regulators’ preference to remain focused on the medical patients. CEO Ben Kovlar said on the same call, “There’s a lot of demand for this product. If there wasn’t, there would not be people lined up around the corner at these stores in New Jersey. So that’s what gives us a lot of conviction. There ends up being a lot of upside.”

Curaleaf

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CURLF) is another New Jersey company enjoying its expansion efforts. Curaleaf began new adult-use sales at its Edgewater Park on May 25. It’s the company’s second location to sell adult-use cannabis in the Garden State and the 13th adult-use store to be added in the state. “After a successful adult-use launch in April, we are thrilled to expand our adult-use footprint allowing us to serve even more New Jersey consumers,” said Matt Darin, CEO of Curaleaf. “I’d like to thank the Town of Edgewater Park for their partnership and for so graciously welcoming us into the community. Curaleaf is committed to ensuring patients and consumers receive quality products and service as they embark on their cannabis journey.”

Ayr Wellness

Last month, medical operator Ayr Wellness (OTC: AYRWF) got its green light to begin adult-use sales. “We are thrilled to be approved for adult-use sales in New Jersey and to have all three dispensaries cleared simultaneously to open for adult-use,” said Jonathan Sandelman, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Ayr. “To date, Central Jersey has the lowest number of dispensaries per capita, leaving its population under-served compared with the rest of the state. New Jersey is expected to become a highly influential state for the U.S. cannabis industry, and we are honored to help shape the market landscape from its early stages.”  The company is working on opening its first adult-use store.

Debra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt is the Co-Founder, and Executive Editor of GMR. She has covered the cannabis industry for several years at Forbes, Seeking Alpha and TheStreet. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Debra was a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she held a Series 7 and Registered Investment Advisor license. Debra has a Master's degree in Business Journalism from New York University.


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