Prospective businesses laid the groundwork in anticipation that lawmakers would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in New Jersey.

They scouted locations, talked with municipal officials and worked with consultants. Some even secured real estate.

Cannabis attorney Bridget Hill-Zayat of the Hoban Law Group said most of the firm’s clients that were eyeing adult use in New Jersey were sophisticated investors such as multistate operators.

Their preparation included scouting out municipalities that supported adult use, cultivating relationships with those municipal officials and looking at potential properties.

The efforts often included hiring consultants, lobbyists and other services, Hill-Zayat said, but “to go out and get a location would have been premature.”