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Cannabis legalization is undoubtedly expanding across the country. From east to west, and so many places between the coasts, the stigma of cannabis use is fading. Today, both medicinal marijuana patients and recreational users have access to safe marijuana and cannabis products in a growing number of states across the USA.
New Jersey is no exception. Over the last few years, we have seen vast changes to the New Jersey laws surrounding medical marijuana and the recreational use of cannabis.
If you feel like laws are changing so quickly that they’re difficult to keep up with, you’re not alone.
So, where is cannabis legal? How can you legally purchase marijuana in New Jersey? When it comes to your cannabis questions, we’re here to help. Consider us your clued-in friend with the latest, most up-to-date information about the medical marijuana laws in New Jersey.
Following the path that was already blazed by a number of western states such as Colorado, Washington, Oregon and California, The Garden State was among a number of progressive early adopters that legalized marijuana for medical use.
The Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act passed in 2010, allowing qualifying New Jersey patients to use medical cannabis with a physician’s recommendation and guidance.
And just a few years later in 2013, S 2842 was signed into law. This NJ marijuana bill allowed edible forms of cannabis to be consumed by patients under the age of 18.
In 2019 a bill called Jake’s Law made big changes to the New Jersey medical marijuana laws. This progressive bill expanded access for provisions such as home delivery, increased the allowed amount of medical cannabis and widened overall access to safe cannabis products with the addition of more cultivators, manufacturers, and retailers.
In November 2020 empowered New Jersey voters took to the polls and approved New Jersey Public Question 1, also known as the Marijuana Legalization Amendment. This amendment legalized the use and possession of cannabis for New Jersey residents 21 and older. Additionally, the Marijuana Legalization Amendment hashed out a bunch of tax rates — we’ll get into those later.
Early in 2021, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance and Marketplace Modernization Act was signed into law, legalizing marijuana possession of up to six ounces (170 grams) of cannabis. [source]
2021 had even more wins, with bills signed into law reducing penalties for marijuana possession and the issuing of written warnings instead of fines or criminal penalties for those under the age of 21. And that’s good news for cannabis users. [source]
Yes! Adult-use cannabis, also known as recreational marijuana, is legal in New Jersey. Additionally, medical marijuana is legal for all registered patients who live and reside in New Jersey, too.
Like many states around the country, New Jersey has seen sweeping changes in its marijuana laws over the last decade or so. This forward-thinking progress shines a light on the positive benefits cannabis users have been advocating for over the years.
Today, both medical marijuana and recreational cannabis are legal.
Although medical marijuana is legal in New Jersey, there are limits and rules that medical cannabis patients must keep in mind.
The maximum amount of cannabis MMJ patients are allowed to have is 3 ounces within a 30 day period. Currently, medical marijuana is packaged in 1/4 or 1/8 ounce denominations.
As of 2021, this is the standard, but there are exceptions. New Jersey MMJ patients may have unlimited access to cannabis under a physician’s direction and recommendation. [source]
The latest cannabis legalization laws prohibit all home growing. So, if you’re looking to flex your green thumb and grow your own flower at home, sorry, that’s out of the question — for now.
But we’ve seen changes and amendments made before to The Garden State’s marijuana laws. Recently, New Jersey’s neighbor New York joined the 14 states that have legalized marijuana in allowing home growing. The NY law permits MMJ patients to grow up to six plants at home. [source]
For now, New Jersey medical marijuana cardholders can purchase cannabis from licensed retail dispensaries in the Garden State. Only time will tell if the current NJ legalization will be expanded.
At this time a New Jersey state sales tax is applied to each purchase of recreational cannabis.
The Marijuana Legalization Amendment specifies that the state tax rate of 6.625% applies to purchases of recreational marijuana. Additionally, local municipalities across New Jersey are permitted to impose an extra 2% tax on all recreational marijuana purchases.
In addition to paying a $100 registration fee, New Jersey MMJ patients currently pay 4% in sales tax. But that tax could potentially be eliminated in the next year or two. [source]
Currently, recreational cannabis is legal for adults 21 and older. The current limitations allow adults to purchase and possess up to 170 grams, or 6 ounces, of cannabis. This limitation also extends to some concentrates (which may be known as “hash”), allowing no more than 17 grams. [source]
Both New Jersey MMJ patients and caregivers are not permitted to transport medicinal marijuana across New Jersey state lines, even if cannabis is legalized in that state.
There are a few general guidelines to keep in mind when traveling with medical marijuana;
In New Jersey driving under the influence is illegal. Consumption of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana is permitted in private (think: home.) and, some Garden State dispensaries offer consumption spaces for their patients.
Currently, smoking medical marijuana has the same regulations as smoking tobacco and falls under New Jersey’s Smoke-Free Air Act of 2006, which prohibits smoking in shared, public spaces.
And the answer is, not yet.
While recreational use of cannabis is completely legal in the state of New Jersey, you must have a New Jersey medical marijuana card to purchase cannabis from a medical marijuana dispensary.
Medical marijuana cards give NJ patients the freedom to purchase marijuana from state-licensed Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) as well as licensed cannabis dispensaries.
Qualifying patients have to schedule an appointment with their physician, or an advanced practice nurse licensed to prescribe cannabis for medical use.
A physician will meticulously review your medical history and determine whether or not you are eligible to become a medical marijuana patient and obtain your card.
Qualified patients must register with the state patient registry, the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program, in order to receive a state-issued ID card from the New Jersey Department of Health.
After all the necessary paperwork is complete and registration is finalized, New Jersey medical marijuana patients over the age of 18 can legally purchase cannabis from Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) and licensed cannabis dispensaries in the Garden State.
The New Jersey medical marijuana card also protects patients from being charged for marijuana possession by law enforcement under New Jersey’s current cannabis laws.
Medical marijuana is available at licensed retail dispensaries and Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) across New Jersey. The Cannabis Regulatory Commission currently oversees New Jersey’s medical cannabis programs and ultimately decides where cannabis can be sold.
Both medical marijuana patients and recreational cannabis users in New Jersey and across the country have greater access to safe marijuana and regulated cannabis products than ever before. With the speed at which laws have already been passed and amended, there may be new laws and regulations that come into the public conversation, or appear on the ballot, right here in the great state of New Jersey, and beyond.
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