Poll Finds N.J. Supports Cannabis Sales

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City Council urges people to give their thoughts about marijuana-based businesses in a survey. (Photo courtesy of iStocktphoto.com)

As legal marijuana sales begin in New Jersey, a majority of adults would welcome dispensaries selling cannabis in their towns, and half would market it as a tourist attraction, according to a newly released Stockton University poll. But results do vary slightly by region.

Of the 640 state residents sampled in the poll, 56 percent said they would support dispensaries selling legal recreational marijuana in their towns, while 36 percent would oppose it and 8 percent are unsure. The poll was conducted for the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University.

Half of all respondents would like the state’s hospitality industry, which according to state data employs 9 percent of New Jersey’s private sector workers, to offer cannabis related attractions such as lounges and restaurants where weed can be consumed.

The percentage supporting marijuana tourism grew to 55 percent in New Jersey’s six southernmost counties, but conservative Ocean County was generally opposed. Statewide, 43 percent opposed the tourist industry marketing cannabis related attractions.

About a dozen dispensaries began legally selling recreational marijuana in New Jersey April 21, nearly 18 months after voters approved legalizing pot in a statewide referendum.

New Jersey will dedicate 70 percent of tax revenue raised from recreational marijuana sales to economically struggling communities most harmed by past marijuana convictions.

Responses remained consistent and varied little across gender, racial and other demographic categories, said Alyssa Maurice, research associate for the Hughes Center.

The poll of New Jersey adult residents was conducted by the Stockton Polling Institute of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy April 4-13.

Full poll results are at Stockton.edu/hughes-center