If voters approve a ballot question seeking to legalize marijuana, according to the state legislature involved in the eventual legalization, then
medical marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey may start selling recreational marijuana. During a live broadcast of an interview on NJ.com’s Facebook page, Senator Nick Scutari said he hopes dispensaries are preparing to produce more marijuana and exceed the needs of their patients in order to start selling it to customers over the age of 21.
“Current medical marijuana and cannabis dispensaries will be able to sell cannabis to a wider public over the age of 21 if they can confirm that their product is sufficient to meet the needs of their patients, whom they are already treating,” said Scutari.
“Maybe we can flip the switch and people can legally get marijuana right after the vote,” he said.
This is a very big and important “if” because there are 92,000 registered patients in the country and dispensaries have long struggled to supply cannabis to registered patients in the state. Patients constantly complain about long lines and long journeys, as well as the shortage of cannabis products under the limited program. Patient numbers have skyrocketed since Gov. Phil Murphy took office and signed legislation expanding the list of conditions for obtaining a medical marijuana card.
But this is the first time that Scutari, or anyone closely associated with cannabis law and government policy, has said it intends to start selling this year. However, some insiders and industry experts said the market will not be ready for such a boom until 2021.