ATLANTIC CITY — Mayor Marty Small, Sr. signed the first business license on Wednesday, April 19 allowing the sale of recreational cannabis in the resort.
“Cannabis has been a topic in Atlantic City since I was a council president, and at the time, because I’m not a user, I was close minded on the issue,” Small said. “But this is about the greater good in the City of Atlantic City, and that's relief for our taxpayers. This is yet another ratable for our taxpayers.”
Recreational marijuana use has been legal in New Jersey since 2020. Since then, the state has raised more than $8 million in taxes from the sale of recreational cannabis and the industry has raised more than $132 million from recreational sales, according to the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission.
Neighboring states New York and Delaware have already legalized recreational marijuana use. Pennsylvania has proposed the legalization and tax of recreational cannabis.
In the resort, the Cannabis Review Board studied the issue in depth before it was approved, according to a prepared statement.
Director of Constituent Services Kashawn “Kash” McKinley, Councilwoman Stephanie Marshall, Assistant City Solicitor Karl Timbers, the city’s Director of Licensing and Inspection Dale Finch and the city’s Director of Planning and Development Jacques Howard along with Create 48 owner Zach Katzen all served on the board.
“What got us here is not what’s going to keep us here,” said McKinley. “We have a lot of hard work to do, but this is another step in the right direction to making Atlantic City the east coast’s cannabis hub, which is our goal.”
MPX NJ, located at 153 S. New York Avenue, is the first recreational cannabis dispensary here.
“This is a monumental moment for us, not only because this is our first adult-use dispensary but the first in Atlantic City,” said MPX NJ General Manager Janine Ratliff. “We look forward to continuing serving Atlantic City safe, legal, quality cannabis.”
Small said the dispensary opening here shows potential business owners’ confidence in the resort.
“It’s showing that people are invested in the great city of Atlantic City,” Small said. “We’re being proactive about this. We have to take a chance.”
The city council approved an ordinance in September adopting a plan for a Green Zone redevelopment area that includes Atlantic and Pacific avenues from Maryland to Boston avenues, and the Orange Loop. The Green Zone designation encourages economic growth in this section by identifying it as a preferred area for certain cannabis sales.
McKinley commended Small for the improvements the city is making.
“It starts with leadership, which starts with the mayor,” McKinley said. “His vision is all about setting a standard, and cannabis is no different. This is yet another platform Atlantic City can be proud of.”
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