Watch CBS News

Atlantic City will open first recreational marijuana shop

Atlantic City's first recreational marijuana shop set to open
Atlantic City's first recreational marijuana shop set to open 02:09

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) -- It's being called a historic day in Atlantic City. The first recreational marijuana shop is set to open and the city is hoping it will grow revenue and boost tourism.

About a block away from the iconic boardwalk, Atlantic City is opening its first adult-use marijuana dispensary on New York Avenue. Becoming the city's first business to sell recreational pot.

"Not only is it a great day, it's a historical day," Mayor Marty Small Sr. said.

Mayor Small Sr. put his pen to paper Wednesday and signed a cannabis business license for MPX New Jersey.

It's no coincidence the shop will open on 4/20, the unofficial marijuana holiday.

"We, by no means, are trying to offer anything that is not already legalized," Janine Ratliff said. "Our goal is to offer legal safe quality cannabis for those who are using it."

Last year, New Jersey legalized adult-use marijuana.

Atlantic City says it's now trying to diversify and provide more options for tourists and year-round residents.

The mayor says pot shops are prohibited on the boardwalk but adds MPX will generate tax revenue by paying $25,000 a year for its license. And the store agreed to donate $750,000 to organizations and programs within the community.

"That's not counting the mandated 2% on the sales tax, so this is a win win win for the taxpayers," Small said.

MPX says it will offer customers both recreational and medical marijuana.

It's also planning to move to a larger location in September on St. James Place within AC's Green Zone, an area being designed as a new entertainment and cannabis destination.

"What we are trying to do is help to grow Atlantic City," Ratliff said. "I think especially in this specific area [the Orange Loop] trying to grow this area."

The reaction was mixed on the boardwalk.


"I think it's terrible," Elaine Cona said. "Somebody gets behind the wheel, what's the difference of someone getting behind the wheel high on pot or drinking?"

"I don't like the smell, but I think it's better it creates business, it creates employment, it creates a lot of tax breaks too," Alexandra Parra said.

The dispensary's opening will coincide with a 4/20 festival happening across the street. The shop is expecting large crowds and will officially open its doors Thursday morning.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.