Poll Unveils New Jersey Cannabis Users’ Attitudes

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Cannabis dispensary New Jersey
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New Jersey Users Like State-Sanctioned Dispensaries But Hate Prices

When New Jersey legalized adult recreational use and the regulated sales of cannabis products, critics wondered if potheads would pay the higher price at state-sanctioned dispensaries or remain with the still-illegal underground market. The results of a Stockton University William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy poll that were released on Tuesday morning show a majority of New Jersey’s marijuana users are quite impressed with the state’s legal-weed dispensaries.

The poll of 660 New Jersey adults showed about one-third of them have used marijuana or other cannabis products since recreational weed was legalized in the state a year ago. The poll went on to show that 47% of the cannabis users consumed it for recreational purposes while 39% did so for both recreational and medical purposes. Only 13% reported they used such products strictly for medical reasons.

A strong majority of the cannabis users – 69% – said they bought their products from a licensed cannabis dispensary. Of those individuals, 86% said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their dispensary experience.

They reported the main reason for utilizing the dispensaries instead of buying pot off the street was safety, with 43% saying they appreciated knowing the products were safe. That is a reasonable decision considering it has recently been reported that there is much more adulterated street product making an appearance because of the fentanyl scourge. Another 23% said they enjoyed the quality of the dispensaries’ products.

However, only 7% approved of the price of legal weed in New Jersey, which has among the most expensive regulated cannabis in the country. That’s one of the reasons some users still do their shopping in the underground market.

The poll showed that among the 30% of respondents who said they still bought their marijuana from unlicensed dealers, 18% said they did so because prices or taxes charged at dispensaries were too high. But an even higher percentage, 30%, said the reason they still resorted to street sales was there were no dispensaries nearby.

The poll showed that situation is unlikely to change soon because only a slim majority, 53%, of respondents supported dispensaries selling recreational weed where they live. Why wouldn’t a cannabis user want a nearby dispensary? They likely do. Remember, though, that two-thirds of the persons polled weren’t cannabis users. And pot opponents can be very vocal when municipal governments consider allowing dispensaries, especially in Republican-dominated areas such as Ocean County. The poll showed 38% of Democrats were more likely to consume cannabis while only 24% of Republicans and 32% of independents were likely to light up a joint.

The poll revealed some other demographic characteristics of cannabis users in the state:

  • Men are more likely to consume weed than woman, by a 37% to 28% margin.
  • Younger people use cannabis more than older people. Of the poll respondents who said they used cannabis products in the past year, 43% were in the 18-to-29 age group and 41% were in the 30-to-49 age bracket. Only 17% of senior citizens said they had consumed cannabis, with half buying it strictly for medical use.
  • Blacks had the highest use percentage, 39%. Whites checked in at 33%, Hispanics/Latinos at 29%.

Finally, there were no differences in use between the different regions of the state, and levels of education weren’t a factor, with people with or without a college degree consuming cannabis at roughly the same percentage