NJ legal marijuana sales start with front rows and free food

Gary Dorestan, 22, a college student from Philadelphia, said it was a relief to no longer have to buy from random pot dealers.

Another client, Hannah Wydro, of Washington, NJ, said she always quietly discussed her marijuana paraphernalia business because “you don’t know if you’re going to get banned for things.”

But the legalization of recreational marijuana in his state is changing that.

“Now I feel free and excited,” she said.

At another Apothecarium dispensary, in Maplewood, NJ, customers stopped at a table with various brands of marijuana buds on display in clear plastic canisters with holes in the top for sniffing.

Growing manager Nick Damelio, 27, answered questions from customers waiting outside.

Mr. Damelio, who wore a long gold chain bearing a large pendant in the shape of a marijuana bud, told customers that the sativa-like strains would provide an energetic high, while the indica was more relaxing.

As a suggestion, he said the dispensary strain called Gorilla Glue was so named because it “makes you sticky when you sit on the couch.”

A third Apothecarium dispensary is set to open in Lodi, NJ, later this year with a drive-thru window.

Corey Kilgannon reported from Maplewood, NJ; justin morris reported from Paterson and Elizabeth, NJ; and Sean Piccoli reported from Bloomfield and Phillipsburg, NJ

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