NJ Legal Weed approaches $1B in sales, but how much is the state making?
The New Jersey cannabis market is on its way to becoming a billion-dollar industry.
From July 2022 through June 2023, New Jersey dispensaries sold more than $734 million in cannabis products, according to statistics from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. The vast majority of sales came from recreational marijuana customers, who spent over $555 million.
The sales growth comes as the number of dispensaries in New Jersey has continued to grow exponentially. Twelve dispensaries opened for recreational sales during the first and second quarters of 2023, during which sales grew about 10% per quarter.
Twenty new dispensaries opened for recreational sales in the third quarter alone. It took nearly a year for 20 dispensaries to open from June 2022 to June 2023.
The adult use and medical markets are heading in opposite directions. Medical cannabis sales have plummeted over 44% since April 2022, when adult use cannabis sales officially began. Meanwhile, adult use sales have increased by almost 40%.
New Jersey medical marijuana patients spent about $178 million during the yearlong period.
The declines in medical marijuana sales comes while the population of registered New Jersey medical marijuana patients continues to plummet.
There were just over 98,000 registered patients in September 2023, about 20% less than the nearly 123,000 patients registered a year before, according to statistics from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission.
Since recreational sales began, the patient population has decreased by nearly a quarter.
The state levies two taxes on cannabis sales, including the standard 6.625% sales tax. Since recreational sales began, the state has collected nearly $39 million in sales tax.
Another $1.9 million was generated by the Social Equity Excise Fee, or SEEF, which is levied on cannabis cultivators and wholesalers and passed down to consumers. The Cannabis Regulatory Commission is charged with making recommendations on dedicating SEEF revenue toward communities most impacted by the War on Drugs.
The SEEF rate changes depending on the average price of cannabis. It is currently set at $1.52 per ounce, but is set to decrease to $1.24 next year.
Municipalities can also charge a 2% transfer tax on all cannabis sales that occur within their borders. Those revenues flow directly into township coffers.
Both the sales tax and SEEF are only levied on recreational marijuana purchases. Patients paid sales tax on medical marijuana purchases until July 2022, when a four-year phaseout of the tax concluded.