Ushering in true “liberty and prosperity,” the state of New Jersey has approved the recreational use of cannabis for adults 21+! New Jersey recreational cannabis sales began April 21 and, as excited as we all are, there are rules and regulations that need to be addressed to help guide locals and visitors to the Garden State. Due to New Jersey’s established medical cannabis program, we thought it would be best to help residents distinguish between the two programs and the rules of each.
In an attempt to mitigate the influx of recreational consumers that New Jersey is sure to see, we have established guidelines for assisting medical patients while ensuring a pleasant and rewarding experience for recreational visitors alike. Transcending shoppers into a Zen-like state when they step into the dispensary is our intention at Zen Leaf and, with the addition of recreational cannabis, we hope to further serve and unify the New Jersey cannabis community.
Shopping Experience: Medical vs. Recreational
We at Zen Leaf firmly believe that cannabis is, first and foremost, a medical product. We want to assure patients that we, with the help of the state of New Jersey, have put special accommodations in place to guard medical patients and their access to life-enhancing medical cannabis. With that said, let’s explore what a shopping experience looks like for a medical patient versus a recreational consumer.
The Medical Cannabis Shopping Experience at Zen Leaf
It’s hard to believe that New Jersey patients have been shopping medical cannabis since 2020. Because of this, it’s incredibly important to us at Zen Leaf that the patient experience is not sullied by the addition of recreation. In fact, we have worked hard to ensure your confidentiality and a hassle-free shopping experience, including:
- Reserved parking for medical cannabis patients only, designated with signage
- A check-in line solely for medical cannabis patients
- Express pick-up check-in for patients only
- Dedicated registers for medical cannabis patients only
- The option of cannabis home delivery, offered only to patients Monday through Friday
- Curbside pick-up (coming soon!), designated with signage in our dispensary parking lots, and available only to patients
To further provide medical patients priority access to cannabis-based therapies, recreational consumers will order from a separate menu online.
The Recreational Shopping Experience at Zen Leaf
It’s a whole new world for recreational consumers in New Jersey, you could even say a new fantastic point of view. Recreational use is legal and soon enough consumers will be able to step into the wondrous world of cannabis dispensaries beginning April 21, 2022. Let’s take a magic carpet ride into what it’s like shopping at Zen Leaf.
Currently, Elizabeth and Lawrence offer recreational cannabis sales.
When you arrive at the dispensary, you will notice parking spots reserved for medical patients or medical curbside pickup. These spots are reserved to ensure our medical patients have easy navigation into the dispensary; every other parking spot is yours for the taking!
After stepping inside the dispensary lobby, you will notice two lines for check-in, one labeled medical and the other recreational. Medical patients will be prioritized, but don’t fret! Our Cannabis Advisors are incredibly knowledgeable and efficient to ensure a manageable wait time for your visit.
Your name will be called when it’s your turn to visit with the next available Cannabis Advisor. The dispensary space is open and airy with warm wood accents, adding to the Zen experience. You will be able to consult with a Cannabis Advisor about the extensive menu we have and the many trusted brands we carry, like premiere Verano cannabis. There are separate menus for recreational and medical cannabis online and in-store, once again with medical taking priority.
Recreational consumers will have separate allotments compared to patients. Recreational cannabis consumers may purchase:
- Up to one ounce of flower, OR
- 5 grams of concentrates, OR
- A combination of cannabis products to not exceed the daily limit of one ounce
Dispensary staff will ensure you are below your daily limit by checking transactions for prior purchases. Congratulations! You made your first recreational cannabis purchase in New Jersey.
Wave bye to some of your new best friends, the Zen Leaf staff, on your way out! When you get to your car DO NOT open your cannabis products. While driving, cannabis should remain sealed shut until you have made it home.
Zen Leaf Locations in New Jersey
New Jersey has been part of the Zen Leaf family for almost two years – Elizabeth opened its doors in 2020, with Neptune and Lawrence Township following a year later. We are proud to be a purveyor of cannabis for the medical patients, and we are incredibly eager to welcome New Jersey recreational consumers to the cannabis community.
Located at 117 Spring St, Zen Leaf Elizabeth is a spacious location with 120 parking spaces, with the 21 spaces closest to the dispensary designated for medical patients or patients with disabilities. There will be registers dedicated to medical patients only, and hours have been expanded to allow time solely for medical shopping. The hours of operation are as follows:
- Medical-only hours:
Monday – Saturday, 8AM – 9AM and 9PM – 10 PM
Sunday, 10AM – 11AM and 8PM – 9PM
- Store hours for both medical and recreational visitors:
Monday – Saturday, 9 AM – 9 PM
Sunday, 11AM – 8PM
The front 16 parking spaces of Zen Leaf Lawrence, located at 3256 Brunswick Pike, will be designated for medical patients and patients with disabilities. There is ample parking behind the dispensary for our recreational visitors. Like Elizabeth, the Lawrence Township location will have dedicated hours for medical patients only:
- Medical-only hours:
Monday – Thursday, 8 AM – 10 AM and 9 PM – 10 PM
Sunday, 10 AM – 11 AM, 8 PM – 9 PM
- Store hours for medical and recreational visitors:
Monday – Thursday, 10 AM – 9 PM
Saturday, 8 AM – 10 PM
Sunday, 11 AM – 8 PM
Located at 2100 Route 66, Zen Leaf Neptune will service only the medical cannabis community. There may be changes to this location in the future allowing recreational sales, but for the time being, it is a medical cannabis haven. The hours for the Zen Leaf Neptune location will stay the same – Monday through Saturday, 9 AM – 9 PM, and Sunday, 10 AM – 6 PM.
Zen Leaf Neptune has a special feature – statewide medical cannabis home delivery!
Zen Leaf Medical Cannabis Home Delivery and Curbside Pick-Up
We are excited to further our service to the medical cannabis community by offering delivery and curbside pick-up to our patients. Recreational Zen Leaf visitors, don’t fret! It’s absolutely our intention to add this option for recreational consumers in the future.
Here are the details our medical mates need to successfully get their orders delivered or picked up curbside, as well as regulations or rules the state wants to make sure the cannabis community knows before they get to take advantage of this effortless way to get their medicine.
Medical Cannabis Curbside Pick-Up (Coming Soon!)
- Patients can place orders online for curbside pick-up
- There will be specific parking spaces or lines for curbside pick-up only, with signage or staff directing the traffic
- We encourage you to bring exact change to make your pick-up as smooth as possible
- Stay tuned for order pick-up timelines!
Medical Cannabis Home Delivery
- Delivery is available statewide from Zen Leaf Neptune
- Delivery is available Monday – Friday to the home address listed on your New Jersey state and medical IDs
- Orders must total $75 to qualify for delivery
- Orders over $100 receive free delivery, purchases under $100 will be subject to a $5 delivery fee
- Before delivery, the patient will be contacted by the delivery person to verify the order and set up the window of delivery time
- Patients are required to show proper identification upon delivery, which includes your state-issued ID and patient registry ID card
- The address on your identification MUST match the delivery address
- No deliveries will be made to mailboxes or PO boxes. Cannabis cannot be left unattended on a porch or stoop, and no deliveries are allowed on federally owned government property
- Upon delivery of products, you must sign to indicate that you received your medical cannabis; you will receive your receipt after payment
- Deliveries must be paid in cash; we suggest having as close to exact change as possible
- No deliveries will be made to out-of-state consumers
Safe and Responsible Cannabis Consumption in New Jersey
The effect of cannabis varies widely from adult to adult and will vary even more if a child has ingested cannabis. One of the most important aspects of cannabis legalization for New Jersey is doing the best we all can to ensure children and those under the age of 21 do not have access to cannabis. The second most important aspect is warning adults to not drive under the influence of cannabis. To further guarantee consumers are handling cannabis in a responsible manner, we have compiled some easy-to-follow instructions:
- Do not operate large machinery, including vehicles
- Do not share your stash with anyone under the age of 21
- Do not smoke around others
- Cannabis must be stored in a container that is sealed shut
- Do not use cannabis products if you are pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding
- Keep cannabis locked and away from minors and pets; when possible, keep cannabis products in their child-resistant containers
- Using cannabis in conjunction with alcohol, medications and other stimulants can impair the mind more than using cannabis alone
- Make sure you understand how to read cannabis product labels and understand the cannabinoid levels
- Buy cannabis from licensed dispensaries that carry products that are tested for containments
If you our child or pet has ingested cannabis and is experiencing adverse reactions, reach out to the New Jersey Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.
FAQ’s For New Jersey Cannabis
Still have questions? Great, we could talk about cannabis all day! We already went over a Zen Leaf shopper’s experience, some of the expectations with delivery and curbside pick-up, and how to consume cannabis safely and responsibly. Let’s dive into some of the common questions that recreational consumers may have about the forms of cannabis they can purchase, how much of each form, where to find a dispensary, and more.
Are There Cannabis Discounts for Medical Patients?
New Jersey medical cannabis patients receive exclusive discounts, including:
- 10% OFF your entire purchase
- 15% OFF flower for Med patients when they purchase a half ounce
- 20% OFF flower for Med Patients when they purchase one ounce
Note, these discounts cannot be stacked or combined.
What Forms of Cannabis Will Be Available for Recreational Purchase?
Recreational cannabis will be offered to consumers in forms of:
- Oils for the use of vaporization
- Concentrates; in solid forms such as resin, and liquids such as oils
- Tinctures and Sublingual forms
- Oral lozenges
- Ingestible; syrups, pills, tablets, capsules, or chewable forms
- Transdermal forms
How Do I Find a Recreational Dispensary Near Me?
Zen Leaf has 2 locations offering recreational sales, Elizabeth and Lawrence Township. You can find addresses to these locations listed above or by using the Zen Leaf website and clicking “Store Locations” in the top right-hand corner and navigating to New Jersey locations.
If Elizabeth or Lawrence are out of driving range for you, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission has created a painless way to find dispensaries straight from the state website.
When Will Recreational Sales Start?
Recreational cannabis sales began on April 21, 2022! The historic day was marked at Zen Leaf Elizabeth and Lawrence.
How Much Cannabis Can Recreational Consumers Buy?
Recreational consumers may purchase:
- up to 1-ounce of dried flower, or
- up to 5 grams of concentrates or
- any combination that is equivalent that does not exceed the 1-ounce limit per day
Dispensary staff will be checking each recreational consumer’s daily transactions to ensure that you have not gone over your daily limit.
Can I Use Home Delivery or Curbside Pick-Up if I Do Not Have a Medical Card?
It is the goal of Zen Leaf to offer delivery and curbside pick-up for all our cannabis shoppers, but for the time being, only medical patients may take advantage of curbside or home delivery.
What are the Taxes or Fees Associated with Buying Recreational Cannabis?
Taxes associated with recreational purchases will include a state sales tax of 6.625%, with local municipalities able to add another 2% tax.
The additional 25 will be determined by each city or county and may vary from one area to another. Medical cannabis remains tax exempt thanks to the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.
Where Can I Consume Cannabis that I Purchased Recreationally?
Any cannabis in the state, whether purchased medically or recreationally, can only be consumed at a private residence with the property owner’s explicit approval.
Are Recreational Cannabis Consumers Eligible for New Jersey Cannabis Rewards?
Absolutely! All New Jersey cannabis consumers are welcome (an encouraged!) to enroll in New Jersey Cannabis Rewards.
Shop Zen Leaf New Jersey for All of Your Cannabis Needs
It’s an incredibly exciting time in New Jersey! Cannabis is legal in more ways than one and, once the recreational launch date is determined by the state, more accessible than ever. We have put tremendous thought and care into the experience for both medical and recreational visitors to ensure each visitor feels comfortable finding their zen.
Our Zen Leaf Cannabis Advisors and Customer Care Team are here to support each visitor, medical or recreational, answering all your questions and providing thoughtful recommendations. Don’t hesitate in contacting us today!
*This post was updated May 5, 2022 to reflect updated medical shopping hours.