Here’s what’s legal under New Jersey’s updated marijuana laws


Phil Murphy, governor of New Jersey, signed a package of laws today that sets out the rules and regulations for the state’s legal cannabis industry. The new laws follow the nationwide vote last November to legalize cannabis for all adults.

Reading and understanding the new rules, which are hundreds of pages long, is a difficult task. The package contains three separate invoices. One sets up a new legalization regime, the other two reform the state’s enormous drug control apparatus. They are:

AS21 / S21, which sets out the rules and regulations for the legal industryA1897who reformed criminal and civil sanctions for cannabisA5342, which continues to reform criminal penalties for minors related to cannabis

The details are summarized below. For a complete guide to New Jersey cannabis laws, see Leafly’s Guide to New Jersey Marijuana.


New Jersey Marijuana Laws

NJ Legalization ActThis photo, provided by the New Jersey Governor’s Office, shows Governor Phil Murphy setting up a legislative market for marijuana, decriminalizing cannabis and easing penalties for possession of drugs and drugs on Monday, February, February Has signed alcohol by minors. 22, 2021 in Trenton, NJ. (Edwin J. Torres / NJ Governors’ Office, via AP).

I thought New Jersey was already legalized. So what is it

In November 2020, New Jersey residents overwhelmingly voted to legalize the sale and use of cannabis for all adults. However, the details of legalization have been left to state lawmakers. This new set of invoices, now required by law, describes those details.

Yes. The November 2020 voter amendment to legalize marijuana in New Jersey (S2703 / A4497) changed the state’s constitution to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults aged 21 and over. It also legalizes the cultivation, processing, and sale of cannabis for retail purposes. The constitutional amendment came into force on January 1, 2021.

How much can I legally own?

This is the critical issue in New Jersey, which under the new law established the country’s first differentiated sales and ownership lines.

State-licensed cannabis stores can sell up to an ounce of cannabis per customer. But individual adults can legally own up to six ounces.

The new law states that “possessing six ounces or less of marijuana, including any adulterers or diluents, or five Grams or less of cannabis resin will not be penalized as possession of it is not a felony, criminal offense, criminal offense, or civil violation of the law. ”

You can also gift up to one ounce to another adult 21 years of age or older.

Note that the law calls for six ounces of flower or five grams of resin – not both. Be careful of your New Jersey ownership limits.

What about my job / business?

In principle, drug-free workplace rules are legal, but under the new law, employers cannot discriminate against consumers outside of business hours.

Employers may conduct drug tests before hiring or in the workplace with reasonable suspicion or randomly: “No. The employer must refuse to hire, employ, or dismiss any person, or take negative action against an employee in terms of pay, conditions, or other employment privileges for smoking, vaping, aerosolizing, or otherwise using cannabis items. . ”


The Leafly Strain of 2020 is – Runtz!

Yes. Cannabis-related paraphernalia is legal under New Jersey law. The new regulations keep other drug paraphernalia illegal (interpret it as you will), but introduce a cannabis exemption: “Other than when using or with the intention of ingesting, breathing, or otherwise using marijuana or hashish in the human body to introduce. ”

Can cops search my car for the smell of weeds?

No. The smell of cannabis is no longer a legally likely reason for a law enforcement officer to search a person, car, or residence.

Can my landlord prevent me from smoking weed in my building?

Yes. If you own the building, you can set the rules.

The new law states that “Smoking, vaping, or aerosolizing marijuana or hashish on or in any property may be prohibited or otherwise regulated by the person or organization who owns or controls that quality. ”

Note that the builder cannot prohibit the possession of cannabis or cannabis products such as food. The new law only applies to the incineration and vaporization of cannabis and cannabis products.

Can I break parole or bail by smoking some weed?

No more. The new law specifically provides that most people released before trial can enjoy legal cannabis like all adults: “The court order must not prevent the legitimate accused from using marijuana or hashish.”

At the far end of the prison, subjects are no longer at risk of showing up for a dirty pee test. That’s good because that’s how a lot of people go back.

The new law states: “The member or board of directors certifying parole shall not impose any condition on any probation officer that prohibits or restricts the presence of cannabinoid metabolites in the person’s body fluids.”

When do adult cannabis stores open in New Jersey?

New Jersey’s first recreational marijuana stores could be open for Labor Day weekend. The new laws allow the first adult stores to open 180 days after being signed by Governor Murphy. That is roughly August 27, 2021.

In truth, it may take a little longer. The State Cannabis Regulatory Commission must be appointed and put the entire industry’s regulatory system into operation before adult stores are opened. And that takes time.

Who will regulate the industry?

The new laws set up a state cannabis regulatory board that will regulate the industry and administer new and revised rules and procedures.

Will food be allowed?

Yes. Like most other constitutional states, New Jersey will limit the total dose per pack to 100 mg of THC, and the edible in each pack must be divided into 10 mg THC servings.

How many stores will there be?

It will depend on what the Cannabis Regulatory Commission licenses. There is no such thing as a hard cap.

Who gets licenses?

The state will issue licenses for cannabis cultivation, delivery services, distribution, extraction, retail and laboratory testing.

What’s the landscape like for cannabis entrepreneurs?

The new laws define six marketplace classes for licensed companies:

Class 1 cannabis producers for establishments involved in the cultivation and cultivation of cannabis Class 2 cannabis processors, for establishments involved in the manufacture, preparation and packaging of cannabis items Class 3 cannabis wholesalers license, for establishments who are involved in the procurement and sale of cannabis items for later resale by others LicenseeClass 4 cannabis distribution license for companies involved in the transportation of cannabis items in bulk from one licensed cannabis facility to anotherClass 5 cannabis – Retail license for locations where cannabis items and paraphernalia are sold to consumers Class 6 cannabis delivery license for companies providing courier services for a licensed cannabis retailer to deliver cannabis items and related supplies to a consumer

How many breeders will there be?

Not many. The new law limits the number of state-licensed cannabis breeders to 37 by early 2023. Those 37 include the 12 existing medical marijuana breeders. Hence, it is expected that thousands of applicants will compete for one of only 25 new licenses to grow cannabis.

Are cannabis products taxed?

The voter-approved change prohibits a certain marijuana excise tax. Adult cannabis sales are subject to normal government sales tax of 6.625%.

State lawmakers could allow local governments to charge an additional 2% sales tax if they choose. And the Cannabis Regulatory Commission can introduce a social justice excise tax at the cultivation level if it so wishes.

Where does cannabis tax revenue go?

New Jersey law provides one of the most advanced cannabis reinvestment systems in the country.

If there is a social justice excise tax at the crop level, 100% of that revenue goes to social justice programs in communities that have borne the brunt of the unfair, racial drug war.

In terms of government sales tax revenue from cannabis sales, 70% goes towards repairing the damage caused by the war on drugs. The remaining 30% will support the state cannabis regulator and infrastructure.

Yes, state law defines it as the “area of ​​consumption”.

How much will the state save if it doesn’t arrest people for marijuana?

Lawmakers estimate that New Jersey spends approximately $ 127 million a year on the cost of enforcing marijuana possession. The money is no longer wasted.

What is an “impact zone”?

Impact Zones are the first criteria for priority licensing. These are communities that have borne the discriminatory brunt of the drug war and are entitled to receive a portion of the state’s cannabis tax revenue.

They are defined by population size, marijuana arrests in 2019, crime index and other factors set out in the new law.

Is the first time locals getting shot at licenses?

A license point system gives citizens and companies with strong diversity goals higher rankings.

David Downs and Bruce Barcott

David Downs leads news and lifestyle coverage as head of Leafly’s California office. Bruce Barcott is Leafly’s chief editor, news and investigation.

Check out the articles by David Downs and Bruce Barcott

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Beth Edmonds