New Jersey’s recreational weed stores open to long lines, cheering customers

Opening day is here: On Thursday, April 21, New Jersey marijuana stores start selling to all adults 21 and older, marking the end of prohibition and the start of a new legal era.

Leafly editors Calvin Stovall and Bruce Barcott are in NJ for the big event. They’ll team up with contributing writers sending in reports from stores up and down the state. We’ll update this page hourly with photos, quotes, stories, and highlights from a historic day.

6 a.m.: Melissa Correa makes the first purchase in Bloomfield

First in line at the RISE store in Bloomfield was Melissa Correa, 42, from Plainfield. She waited through the night to step into the store at 6:00 a.m. this morning.

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Melissa Correa waits for the doors to open at 6 a.m. (Meg Schmidt for Leafly)
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Correa making the first purchase. (Meg Schmidt for Leafly)

Time to RISE and shine

An eager crowd of consumers waiting outside the RISE store in Bloomfield, NJ, in the early morning hours of April 21.

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A pre-dawn crowd awaited the 6 a.m. opening at RISE in Bloomfield, NJ. (photo: Meg Schmidt for Leafly)

End of prohibition 2.0

Ben Kovler, the chairman and CEO of Green Thumb Industries, which operates the RISE stores in Bloomfield and Paterson, marked the day: “It’s a huge event,” he told the Associated Press. “It’s a moment in time when prohibition 2.0 is lifted.”

Shoutout to NJ Weedman

New Jersey’s cannabis pioneer marked 4/20 by dropping an NFT yesterday. Learn more about Ed Forchion in this profile Leafly ran in 2016.

It’s called progress

Long lines: an opening day tradition



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