Marijuana industry is expanding at a rapid rate and more and more states in the U.S. are legalizing cannabis. New Jersey is likely to be the next state to legalize adult-use marijuana as it has been gaining a lot of favor from cannabis experts, producers, entrepreneurs, as well as consumers. However, there are many hurdles in the way to cannabis legalization in this state. That being said, if you are looking to possess or sale marijuana in New Jersey, then there are some things you must know first. This guide will help you.
State of Marijuana Legalization in NJ
Marijuana manufacture, sale, and possession are regulated by both federal and state law. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, so there is no generally recognized medical value and there is a high potential for abuse. However, despite that, the state does allow medical cannabis use under certain conditions. Apart from this, it is also a crime to drive under the influence of cannabis in the state.
Purchasing Cannabis in New Jersey
There are several medical cannabis dispensaries in New Jersey. Each licensed NJ marijuana dispensary is authorized to sell medical marijuana to licensed patients. In fact, these dispensaries have been open to qualified patients in the state since 2012. If you are a licensed patient, you can purchase medical cannabis edibles and other similar products from a licensed NJ marijuana dispensary. There are six such dispensaries in New Jersey and the number of these dispensaries have said to be doubled with the expansion of medical marijuana program.
Medical Cannabis Prescription
If you have a qualifying condition, then you can contact a licensed physician in the state for a medial cannabis prescription. Once approved, you can possess two ounces of marijuana per month. However, keep in mind that all medical cannabis must be purchased from a licensed NJ marijuana dispensary – home cultivation is not allowed.
Cost of Medical Cannabis in New Jersey
New Jersey has some of the most expensive medical cannabis in the country. The cost of cannabis edibles varies depending on the quality and strain, however the average price for one ounce of marijuana is about $490 as the price ranges from $425 to $520. This does not include the 7% state sales tax.
Types of Cannabis Sold in Stores in NJ
In order to visit the medical cannabis dispensary in NJ, you will need an appointment. A number of flower strains ranging from Sativa to Indica and everything in between is available in medical marijuana dispensaries. Each marijuana strain can have different effects so it is recommended that you make sure to ask the budtender for assistance in choosing the best strain. Indica is known for its full body sedative effects and highs, while strong Sativa is known for its general energizing, uplifting, and head high effects.
Other types of marijuana products are also available in medical marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey, these include:
• Cannabis Topicals: Massage oils, lotions, creams, etc. infused with cannabis. These products won’t get you high as they are not psychoactive.
• Cannabis Edibles: Cannabis infused foods, drinks, candies, etc. Edibles can be very potent; however, the potency varies from one product to another. It is recommended that you check the serving size before buying and keep in mind that the effects can take relatively long time to hit you when you consume edibles.
• Cannabis Concentrates: Essential oils of the marijuana plant. Concentrates are usually very potent.
Penalties for Cannabis Possession in NJ
Cannabis possessions has not been decriminalized in NJ. It is a crime to intentionally or knowingly possess cannabis (including small amounts for personal use) in the state. Penalties vary depending on the amount of cannabis possessed.
Possession of 50 grams or less of cannabis and/or use or possession of paraphernalia for a non-cannabis medical patient is disorderly person charge by up to $1000 maximum fine and/or 6 months in prison. More than 50 grams of cannabis possession is a crime punishable by up to $25,000 fine and/or 1.5 years in prison.
Timetable for Possible Cannabis Legalization in NJ
Cannabis legalization in New Jersey has met serious roadblocks over the years. Just a few months ago, with supportive governor backing the legalization of adult-use cannabis, marijuana legalization had seemed all but certain in New Jersey. Then in the span of just a few days in the previous months, the state saw its efforts fall apart. Officials and supporters of cannabis legalization in the state are optimistic, however they refuse to provide a timetable for possible legalization.