Whether you’re feeling anxious, having trouble sleeping or just looking to kick back and chill out, recreational cannabis dispensaries are now open for business across the Garden State, offering a variety of smokable, eatable and topical products.

Anthony Marsico, the executive vice president of Verano, the company that operates several Zen Leaf dispensaries in New Jersey, said once you arrive you’ll be greeted by a cannabis consultant.

“At that point, we’re going to gauge your cannabis knowledge and we’re going to talk through our suite of products and find out what kind of effects you’re looking for,” he said.

What’s available?

If you’re looking for a traditional marijuana high or simple pain relief, he said “we have everything from full flower to vapes to consumables, topical, a wide suite of products.”

David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ
David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ
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He pointed out different products have “different THC levels, different terpene profiles, things like that, our motto for somebody who’s new to cannabis or hasn’t tried it in a while, start low go slow."

It's not the pot you were smoking in college

“A lot of this stuff is a lot more potent than maybe if you smoked in the '60s or '70s, so we like to ease into it,” said Marsico.

David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ
David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ
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He said while many people come to a dispensary for marijuana to smoke or eat, others stop by to get topicals.

“Any sort of joint pain, we make a lotion in a balm and you just literally rub it on the area you’re feeling irritation and it really, really helps.”

Price of legal marijuana in New Jersey

He said depending on the type and strength of the product you’re getting, prices will vary but “the average customer walking in or out of here is probably going to spend in the $80 to $100 range but really it depends on what you’re looking for and how many products you’re looking to leave with.”

Is legal marijuana safe?

He pointed out all products being sold in New Jersey dispensaries come from a state-licensed cultivation or processing facility.

“All of those products have to go through third-party lab testing. They’re tested for pesticides, fungicides, metallics, they have to be put in sealed, finished packaging which is tamper-proof,” he said.

David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ
David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ
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He pointed out packaging is also child-proof.

“We want to put the black market out of business, these products are safe and much better than anything you’re going to get on the street,” he said.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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The 2002-2003 New Jersey Nets: The last time the NBA Finals came through NJ

In 2012 the Nets made their Brooklyn debut, but before that, New Jersey was the home of the Nets dating back to 1977.

The franchise was born in 1967, under the name the New Jersey Americans. They played their games in Teaneck as part of the American Basketball Association. One year later they moved to Long Island, becoming the New York Nets.

It was there the team won two ABA championships in 1973-74 and 1975-76. The very next year the Nets, along with three other basketball franchises, were absorbed into the NBA as part of a merger deal, abolishing the ABA. 

When the Nets first moved to New Jersey, they played their home games at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway. Then in 1981, they moved into the home many of us remember them in the most, the Brendan Byrne Arena in the Meadowlands in East Rutherford (later named the Continental Airlines Arena, then Izod center). 

After years of losing, The Nets made it to two straight NBA Finals in 2001-02 and 2002-03. In 2002-03, the final time they sniffed the championship, the team lost to the San Antonio Spurs.

It would be the last time the Nets sniffed the title, but their efforts added them to New Jersey lore forever.