New Jersey's Wait Time Challenge: State-by-State Insights for Brand Success

New Jersey, a state with a population exceeding 9 million, faces a unique challenge in its cannabis retail landscape. With only 36 licensed cannabis retailers to cater to this vast population, the demand is immense. This high demand is evident in the sales figures: In Q1 2023, each licensed retailer in New Jersey generated approximately $5 million in adult-use cannabis sales. Such a figure is staggering when compared to other markets.


Each market has its unique challenges - and these challenges are ever-evolving! The problems of 2022 will not be the ones to solve for in 2024. Brightfield Group’s Retail Brand Health data reveals how shoppers are feeling about their dispensary experiences on an ongoing basis, giving dispensary decision-makers the insights they need to stay agile. Especially as additional licenses - including delivery - are awarded in the state, the window to gain a competitive edge is soon closing. 


Let’s dig into the innovation opportunity of New Jersey wait times.


The Significance of Wait Times

In-Blog Asset (17)-1Across the board, consumers will prioritize efficiency. No one enjoys lengthy waits or complicated lines. In New Jersey, consumers are particularly drawn to dispensaries where they can swiftly purchase their desired products without enduring lengthy wait times. Unlike other markets, New Jersey dispensaries delivering on wait times seem to be a make-or-break issue. Especially as the number of retail channels grows, shoppers will gravitate towards those that serve them best. 


35% of New Jersey dispensary purchasers (those that have ever purchased from a dispensary) say "wait time" is the reason they pick a favorite dispensary.  New Jersey is the only state in our study where we see "wait time" is a more significant favoritism driver than "lowest prices." 


For Dispensary Operators in New Jersey:

  • Streamline Operations: Consider implementing a fast-track system for regular customers or those who know exactly what they want. This can reduce wait times and improve the overall shopping experience.

  • Efficient Staff Training: Ensure that your staff is well-trained to handle high volumes of customers, answer queries promptly, and process transactions quickly.

  • Feedback Systems: Implement feedback systems where customers can share their shopping experiences. This can provide valuable insights into areas of improvement, especially concerning wait times.

  • Expand Physical Infrastructure: If feasible, consider expanding the store layout or opening additional checkout counters to accommodate more customers simultaneously.

  • Educational Kiosks: For new consumers with questions, set up educational kiosks or digital platforms where they can get information. This can free up staff to attend to sales and reduce wait times.

  • Loyalty Programs: Reward customers who might have to wait with loyalty points or special offers. This can act as a compensatory measure and encourage them to return.



When building a retail brand in a new market like New Jersey, understanding and catering to consumer preferences is crucial. For dispensary managers and owners, addressing the challenge of wait times can significantly enhance the consumer experience, leading to increased loyalty and sustained business growth. 


Each market has its weak points that can be capitalized on for growth. Brightfield Group’s Retail Brand Health data reveals these opportunities. By listening to consumers and innovating based on their needs, dispensaries in every state can exceed expectations and delight customers into returning again and again.


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Published: 9/18/2023