Recreational marijuana sales officially began in New Jersey on Thursday, a year and a half after residents of the state voted in favor of a ballot question allowing the market.
Adults 21 and older can now legally buy recreational cannabis, making New Jersey the 18th state to greenlight non-medical sales of the drug.
The legalization of adult-use cannabis sales in New Jersey and its proximity to 4/20 — the unofficial U.S. marijuana holiday — made the issue a prominent topic in the opening monologues of several shows. late evening Wednesday.
‘The Late Show’ host Stephen Colbert joked that legalizing recreational weed in New Jersey means New Yorkers ‘will have to do the unthinkable’ and travel to the state on purpose .
Colbert dumped a number of fake marijuana strains named after New Jersey pop culture references and famous people of the state. Among his suggestions were Stoney Soprano’s Jon Bong Jovi, Bruce Springstrain, Joint Stewart and Ganjagool.
Colbert also mocked New Jersey for waiting until Thursday to legalize recreational pot sales instead of capitalizing on the popularity of 4/20.
“What are they, high?!” said Colbert.
The late night host said New Jersey’s review of ban police officers from smoking marijuana while off duty is an attempt to “outwit” the police.
“The Late Late Show” host James Corden also had fun with New Jersey’s legalization of adult-use cannabis sales.
“I gotta tell you guys, you’re just waiting to try (marijuana). You’re going to love this,” Corden joked.
“Just be careful, New Jersey folks, because if you smoke too much weed, you might accidentally forget a bunch of important things you need to do,” Corden said, emphasizing “forget” in an attempt to mimic a New Jersey accent. .
“Legal weed in New Jersey. Jon Bon Jovi…more like Jon Bong Jovi,” Corden joked.
Like Colbert, “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon mocked New Jersey for waiting until Thursday to start allowing adults to buy recreational weed instead of starting 4/20.
“I mean, really, it’s like Chipotle giving away free guacamole on Seis de Mayo, you know what I’m saying?” Fallon said.
Starting Thursday, seven operators who already have medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to sell recreational cannabis. Three of the operators are in South Jersey, three in North Jersey and one in the central part of the state. Their combined 13 slots are as follows:
• Vineland, Deptford — operated by Columbia Care
• Bellmawr, Edgewater Park — operated by Curaleaf
• Township of Egg Harbor, Williamstown – operated by Acreage
• Elizabeth, Lawrence — operated by Verano (Zen Leaf)
• Bloomfield, Paterson — operated by GTI (RISE)
• Rochelle Park — operated by Ascend
• Phillipsburg, Maplewood — operated by TerrAscend
The state has estimated that it will have up to 800,000 recreational marijuana users, along with thousands more who will travel out of state to obtain the drug.
Approximately two-thirds of New Jersey residents voted in favor of decriminalization and legalization of adult marijuana in a referendum during the 2020 election. The referendum was successful after several legislative attempts failed in recent years.