Lines stretched around the building for the first day of adult use sales, April 21, 2022, at Curaleaf’s Bellmawr dispensary in New Jersey. Credit: Kevin Monko / Curaleaf

As might have been expected, cannabis companies in New Jersey experienced huge crowds last Thursday, April 21, the kick off day for adult use sales. Cannabis operators Grown In reached out to said that even though they prepared for large crowds, even they were surprised at the enthusiasm and excitement the waves of customers brought – and the energy continued through the weekend to Monday.

Ascend Wellness Holdings, which operates a dispensary in Rochelle Park, in Northern Jersey, just a short train ride from Manhattan, reports about 20% of their daily customers are from out of state, with 1,000 to 2,000 customers a day since the April 21 launch. But, despite the heavy demand, Ascend’s order ahead system kept lines down for an average adult use basket size ranging from $105 to $135 daily.

Curaleaf reports they served “nearly 4,000 adult use transactions” in the first weekend at their Bellmawr dispensary, which is a five minute drive from Philadelphia. The company reports “significant lines throughout the weekend”, and plans to open their Edgewater Park and Bordentown dispensaries for adult use sales as soon as they can resolve some issues with the local communities.

“Our first customer got in line at 1:00 a.m. the night before,” said Matt Darin, Curaleaf’s President. “While customers waited in line we offered them free hot dogs, ice cream, custom made t-shirts, and swag bags, and we also had a DJ and photo booth on site.”

Curaleaf reports their first weekend customer spend was distributed 71% flower, 23% vape, and 4% oral.

Columbia Care’s two Cannabist locations in Deptford and Vineland in South Jersey, were also extremely busy, said company representatives.

“As a company we decided to ease into adult use sales with limited hours to ensure we can give our medical patients priority and the continued experience they’ve come to depend on. While we had huge crowds for adult use at both of our locations, we also saw an influx of patients who came our way because of our dedicated patient-only hours,” said Volley Hayhurst, Vice President of Operations for Columbia Care.

Since the 21st, crowds have stayed about the same, said Hayhurst. “About an hour from opening for our adult use sales [Monday], we had 75 people in line.”


Editor Mike is a co-founder and the editor of Grown In, a U.S. national cannabis industry newsletter and training company. His career has taken him from Capitol Hill to Chicago City Hall, from...