A projection of sales shows the recreational cannabis industry in New Jersey reaching between $850 and $950 million annually by 2024. The state, which has a population of almost 9 million people, will be holding a vote for residents to legalize a recreational marijuana market come November. For many, this is a risk they are willing to invest in, with billions of dollars’ worth of business opportunities riding on the outcome of the vote.
If New Jersey residents approve the marijuana market, many leaders expect a similar chain of events to occur inland and along the Eastern Seaboard, which will create an adult-use cannabis region that will be among the largest globally.
The total population of the states that have been in talks about adult-use legalization which include Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut, is 37 million, which is more than four times the number of people who reside in New Jersey.
With a recreational cannabis industry already established in Massachusetts and another smaller market set to launch on October 9 in Maine, the president of the CannaBusiness Association, New Jersey, Scott Rudder, predicts that New Jersey is the last hurdle for Pennsylvania, New York and the surrounding states.
A cannabis attorney, Bridget Hill-Zayat, agrees with Rudder, stating that the legalization of a recreational cannabis market in New Jersey will motivate the surrounding states.
Despite the New Jersey proposal lacking some details like the number of business licenses that will be made available, regulations and laws will be added on by cannabis regulators and state legislators after voters pass the initiative.
According to a DKC Analytics poll that was conducted in July, 68% favor the legalization initiative with 26% against it and another 6% polling as unsure. An earlier poll that was carried out in April by the Monmouth University showed that 61% of the respondents were in favor of the legalization.
At the moment, the state has only 12 medical cannabis dispensaries with a few more expected to open in the months to come. Many believe that the medical marijuana dispensaries currently operating will be the first to operate in the adult-use market, as a way to accelerate but also ease the market’s launch by late 2021.
Rudder predicts a level of urgency from legislators to give the authority and for regulators to establish regulations due to the pressure the sector will be under to create economic opportunities and generate tax revenue. This is mainly because of the effect the coronavirus pandemic has had on the state’s economy. These anticipated economic benefits confirm what the marijuana industry, including companies like The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (CSE: WTER) (NASDAQ: WTER), has always believed about the immense benefits of having a regulated cannabis market.
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