New Jersey is taking a big bite out of the Big Apple's weeds

New Jersey is definitely the shining star when it comes to the legal cannabis market.

New York City is supposed to be the hub of the world… but it seems things are heading more towards the Jersey Shore. With its neighbor's chaotic rollout of legal cannabis, New Jersey appears to be taking a big bite out of the Big Apple's weed – at least the legal part of it! The New Jersey cannabis market generated over $800 million in medical and recreational cannabis sales in 2023. In comparison, in New York it is $174 million.

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The introduction of legal cannabis in New Jersey went smoothly and was well received by the community and consumers. Their program was operational in April 2022 and the industry brought in a whopping $555+ million in 9 months. The tax revenue was a boon for the state and there were no major setbacks. This is great compared to their neighbor who seems to vacillate from problem to problem.

Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Stringer/Getty Images

Leading cannabis-inclusive analyst firm BDSA predicts whether New York State will be able to correct the mess created by the rollout – it could be the No. 1 market and potentially the first state to reach $2 billion dollars reached. It is estimated that the licensed companies lost more than $1.2 billion in revenue from the illegal operations in 2023 alone.

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Jeff Brown, executive director of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC), predicts the region will be the leading region for cannabis sales. Ultimately it will be good for the treasury. The downside is that the only major financial difference to the Big Apple is legal and tax revenue. There are still over 1,500 illegal pharmacies in New York City alone. The business is there, they are just contributing to the black market which is unregulated, untracked and undisciplined.

Currently, the BDSA's medium-term forecasts expect New York to correct course and be the top state, followed by New Jersey.

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