New Jersey Unveils First Recreational-Only Cannabis Stores: Earth & Ivy and Nova Farms Open Their Doors


State’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission Enhances Its “Find a Dispensary” Online Directory to Facilitate User Access, Adds 2 New Recreational-Only Stores.

NEW BRUNSWICK/WOODBURY, NJ – New Jersey has now broadened its cannabis market with the grand opening of its first-ever recreational cannabis retailers, Earth & Ivy and Nova Farms. This marks a significant moment in the state's cannabis industry, as these are the first retailers to exclusively cater to the adult-use market.

Earth & Ivy, a diversely-owned enterprise, has officially opened its doors in New Brunswick, while Nova Farms is now welcoming customers in Woodbury, a designated Impact Zone.

“It is a milestone for the agency and for the market,” stated Jeff Brown, executive director at the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC). “Now retailers are opening exclusively to serve adult-use customers.”

The state’s other 28 retailers selling recreational cannabis were initially medical dispensaries that expanded into the adult-use market. There are currently 38 dispensaries operating across the state, with 13 dedicated exclusively to medicinal cannabis patients. These dispensaries are required by law to prioritize medicinal patients in terms of product availability, designated hours, check-out lines, and parking.

In order to streamline the process of locating dispensaries statewide, the NJ-CRC has unveiled its revamped “Find a Dispensary” online directory. The directory, now more user-friendly, includes maps and lists of recreational-only dispensaries, medicinal cannabis dispensaries, and medicinal dispensaries offering home delivery.

As of April 13, the NJ-CRC has approved 98 annual awards, including 51 for retailers that will eventually join Earth & Ivy and Nova Farms as recreational-only dispensaries. The NJ-CRC is the body responsible for establishing and enforcing the rules governing the licensing, cultivation, testing, selling, and purchasing of cannabis in the state.

The NJ-CRC is also focusing on Impact Zones, as stipulated by the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act. These zones are municipalities disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs. Impact Zones meet specific criteria based on population, past criminal marijuana enterprises, law enforcement activity, rates of unemployment, and poverty.

Currently, 87 of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities (15%), spread across 18 counties, qualify as Impact Zones. These zones have an average unemployment rate 32% higher than the rest of New Jersey’s municipalities, 77% more marijuana-related arrests, and a Crime Index 34% higher.

For a detailed look into the Impact Zones, interested parties can refer to the Impact Zone Report available on the NJ-CRC website.

As the state continues to make strides in its cannabis market, New Jersey residents can look forward to more developments in the sector. The state's commitment to cannabis regulation, consumer convenience, and social equity is evident in these recent initiatives.

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified