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'It's Been A Long Time Coming': NJ Recreational Marijuana Dispensaries Ready To Meet Demand On Landmark Day

VINELAND, N.J. (CBS) -- Thursday is a landmark day in New Jersey. People will be able to buy recreational marijuana in the state without a medical card. Long lines are expected at dispensaries.

The dispensaries have been preparing for Thursday's rush. Cannabist in Deptford, one of 13 dispensaries that will sell rarefactional marijuana, says they're ready to meet the demand and service their medical patients as well. The store will have a two hour window to purchase recreational marijuana starting Thursday through Saturday. 

"It's been a long time coming," Adam Goers, with Columbia Care, said.

South Jersey dispensaries are ready for the recreational marijuana rollout on Thursday.

Recreational Marijuana In New Jersey: What You Need To Know As Sales Go Legal Thursday

Columbia Care, which operates Cannabist in Deptford and Vineland, says they have been preparing for this and they are ready for the rush. They have been working with the police departments for a smooth transition.

"We have been working with our community partners to make sure we mitigate lines, that we mitigate traffic and that our staff is trained and how to make sure they are checking IDs 21 and up and make sure we have all the products ready to go," Goers said.

Columbia Care says they have been stockpiling cannabis for a while now to make sure they can continue to serve their medical patients and be ready for the adult sales demand.

"Ever since voters in New Jersey passed that, we have been getting ready," Goers said. "We've been expanding and expanding and expanding."

When it comes to buying marijuana, purchases can only be made by those 21 years or older at licensed dispensaries. 

You can have up to six ounces of marijuana at one time, but you can only purchase up to 1 ounce per transaction.  

While some are excited about the progressive move to have access marijuana, other say this could lead to bigger problems

"I'm against it," Keisha Allen said. "I just think that we are legalizing upcoming issues. That's just me, I don't like it especially with kids that live in this community. I think we are sending the wrong signal."  

"I think it's good," John Macey said. "I think it's good for bringing money into the state. I also think it's time we be a little more progressive with the sale of marijuana."

According to the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission, it is also against the law for consumers to take their marijuana purchase across state lines. You also can't grow it in your own personal garden. All purchases must come from a dispensary.  

A new CBS poll finds a large majority of Americans favor legal recreational marijuana -- 66% of those asked said recreational marijuana should be legal in their state and 34% said it should not be. The results were the same when asked if recreational marijuana should be legal at the federal level.

Each dispensary has its own opening times.

Cannabist says it'll open at 5 p.m. Thursday in Deptford and Vineland.

Later on Thursday, Eyewitness News will be heading inside of Cannabist to find out what's for sale and how they plan to keep up with the demand.

CBS3's Wakisha Bailey contributed to this report.

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