Writer: Joey Garrand
2 min read May 2021 — Reefer Madness was a compelling film for its time that focused on what it touted as the scourge of marijuana, but times are changing and South Jersey is embracing the cannabis industry, positioning itself as a leader in the multibillion dollar sector that will soon match the economic impact of the craft beer industry.
According to New Frontier Data, an independent, technology-driven analytics company specializing in the cannabis industry, it is estimated that New Jersey has nearly 1 million cannabis consumers in total. New Frontier also estimates that the legal adult-use cannabis market will grow beyond $1.8 billion in revenue by 2025.
New Frontier is not alone in their analysis that New Jersey will be a significant driver of cannabis activity. BDSA, a center of knowledge and market research with expertise in the current legal cannabis market, predicts that the national domestic legal cannabis market will grow to $41.2 billion by 2026. The organization believes that New Jersey will be one of the highest contributing states to the industry’s growth, and South Jersey leaders are ready to facilitate activity.
In an interview with Invest:, Stephen Steglik, mayor of the Township of Mount Laurel, shared the potential he sees in the cannabis industry, saying that “66% of Mount Laurel voted in favor of the referendum to legalize marijuana, with 70% of Burlington County voting in favor. The benefits, not just medicinally and recreationally but economically, make it something that we want to be able to take advantage of. I think it has great potential for job creation. This could be a big step in the right direction for local economies to start rebuilding and generating money.”
Kristi Howell, president and CEO of the Burlington County Regional Chamber of Commerce, also shared with Invest: her support for cannabis opportunities in Burlington County. “Medical marijuana has been a huge boost for high-paying scientific jobs. It will be interesting to see what comes of this and what becomes of that nascent hub.”
Mount Laurel is already positioning itself as a cannabis leader in the South Jersey region with companies such as Trichome Analytical, the first ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accredited cannabis lab in the state of New Jersey, basing their operations in the area.
Of course, cannabis-related economic development is happening across the entire South Jersey region. Lauren Moore, president of the Atlantic County Economic Alliance, provided insights into the emerging cannabis industry in Atlantic County. “With cannabis now legal in New Jersey, we are getting quite a bit of interest from growers. We have 23 towns and we surveyed them to determine where the activity makes the most sense. Several municipalities are interested in hosting facilities, and we have been showing quite a few sites. We are close to executing some deals to build 200,000 square feet of related facilities,” he told Invest:.
South Jersey is well-positioned to take advantage of changing tides and capitalize on the exponential growth market of cannabis. As put by Christinia Renna, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey, “Because of our vast agricultural space and farmland, there is huge potential for the growing cannabis industry now that it has been legalized for recreational use in New Jersey.”
Reefer Madness, released in 1936, painted pot as a danger to society. Today, the cannabis industry for many in South Jersey — and the country — is a positive opportunity.
For more information visit:Township of Mount Laurel: https://www.mountlaurel.com/
Burlington County Regional Chamber of Commerce: https://www.bcrcc.com/
Atlantic County Economic Alliance: https://www.aceanj.com/
Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey: https://www.chambersnj.com/
American Civil Liberties Union: https://www.aclu.org/
New Frontier Data: https://newfrontierdata.com/
BDSA : https://bdsa.com/
Trichome Analytical: https://trichomeanalytical.com/