In 2020, the rule that legalized recreational cannabis use was passed and came into effect on the first day of 2021 in New Jersey.
So, what does the law say about the use of recreational cannabis in the state? Is it legal? And where can you find it?
Keep reading below to get an answer to all the questions!
Can You Use Recreational Cannabis In New Jersey?
As of that date, it is allowed for residents aged 21 or over to legally purchase and recreationally use cannabis and cannabis goods in New Jersey, and recreational cannabis consumers are permitted to buy up to 6 oz per transaction.
To be more precise, cannabis users can buy a maximum of 1oz of cannabis or 5 grams of cannabis concentrate or a combo of these two, but not more than 1 oz of consumable cannabis as a cannabis-infused drug in solid, liquid, or concentrate versions.
Of course, customers must present a government-issued proof of identity that includes their name and date of death to purchase cannabis in any of the forms it is sold.
The legal system also made retail cannabis production, preparation, and selling lawfully.
The recently updated rules on cannabis and its use led to the establishment and growth of the recreational cannabis sector in the state of New Jersey.
However, even though it is allowable, more than 60% of municipal committees have chosen not to allow the use of recreational cannabis.
Can You Use Medical Cannabis In New Jersey?
In 2010, the New Jersey state made medical cannabis legal. However, it was afterward subjected to incredibly stringent regulations.
With a population of almost 9 million citizens and a handful of licensed dispensaries, New Jersey’s medicinal cannabis structure ranked among the least efficient ones in the United States.
The above situation did not become better after 2016, the year when some new proposed rules went into effect that further restricted the eligibility requirements for accessing medical cannabis by imposing more strict standards than the ones that were previously in effect.
Nowadays, for a patient to be eligible for gaining access to medical cannabis they must:
- Hold a solid relationship with a certified program health care professional.
- Officially reside in New Jersey.
- Be identified as having a qualifying health problem by a New Jersey healthcare professional accredited in the New Jersey Medicinal Cannabis Program.
Where Can You Buy Cannabis In New Jersey?
Restricted recreational cannabis orders began in 2022 across select businesses and dispensaries authorized by the NJ Cannabis Review Commission.
13 medicinal cannabis distributors, identified as Alternative Treatment Centers (ATC), were given the green light to proceed with recreational cannabis sales, with three more incorporated in the catalog recently.
Although there are numerous Alternative Treatment Centers in New Jersey, not all of them sell retail cannabis.
Seven businesses were chosen to keep operating multiple dispensaries all across New Jersey with retail trade, and yet many places are, to this day, collaborating with local authorities to nail down retail cannabis laws.
Otherwise, these stores will keep on selling only medical cannabis.
As for the governmental sales tax, they amount to up to 6.25%, and municipal authorities may levy extra sales taxes.
How Does The Criminal Code In New Jersey Work When It Comes To Possessing Cannabis?
Even though cannabis is legal in New Jersey, there are several prohibitions and rules that people must follow, and violations of such regulatory requirements may result in severe sanctions.
Below are a few of the individual cannabis rules and sanctions in New Jersey:
Possessing less than 6 oz is legal given that the user is more than 1000 feet away from any school.
Possessing more than 6 oz of cannabis constitutes a 4th-degree felony that carries a fine that can be as high as $25,000.
18 months of incarceration are also a possible outcome if caught possessing more than 6 oz of cannabis.
If caught anywhere within 1000 feet of a school, the cannabis user must complete 100 hours of community work or more. That will depend on the quantity they were carrying at the time.
Is Hemp Legal In New Jersey?
Industrial hemp was made legal under the federal statute in 2018. Hemp isn’t any more considered a banned drug when it consists of no more than 0.3% Delta 8 THC (total dry weight), as stipulated by the Farm Bill.
New Jersey endorsed the Farm Bill and decided to make all hemp-based cannabis products legal provided that the Delta 9 THC content is less than 0.3% of total dry weight.
Can You Use Hemp As An Alternative To Cannabis?
Many users prefer hemp products more than cannabis ones as they do not appreciate the overpowering chill and inertia that cannabis provides, irrespective of the reason behind its consumption (medical or recreational).
Hemp has the same medicinal perks as cannabis while providing a more pleasant and controllable ‘high.’ Therefore, it is up to your personal preferences and the ‘high’ you are looking for at a given time.
If you’re looking for a substance to put you to sleep, Delta 8 THC acts similar to Indica.
Alternatively, Delta 10 will provide you with a pure ‘journey’ which is closer to the Sativa one effect-wise.
And if you only want the Delta 9 THC, you can have it delivered straight to your doorstep.
Furthermore, an important factor that has led people to use hemp instead of cannabis is its quality and cost.
In contrast to the unknown brands you will see on the shelves of the dispensaries selling cannabis, credible hemp manufacturers go through an extensive evaluation to meet safety, health, and regulatory requirements!
The decriminalization of industrial hemp growing has produced excellent hemp goods that are cheaper and readily available throughout the United States, New Jersey included.
The Bottom Line
Recreational cannabis is legal in New Jersey, but some restrictions go with it. Even so, many people seem to prefer using hemp instead of cannabis for several reasons.
Which one you will choose is up to you to decide, just make sure you adhere to the law regarding possession!