In February 2021, New Jersey became the 13th state in the United States to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults over the age of 21. Here is an overview of the cannabis laws in New Jersey:
Under the law, adults over the age of 21 can legally possess up to one ounce (28 grams) of cannabis flower or 5 grams of concentrates such as hashish or oils. Individuals are also allowed to gift up to one ounce of marijuana to other adults, but it is illegal to sell it without a license. Public consumption of marijuana is not allowed, and violators can be fined up to $200.
Medical marijuana was legalized in New Jersey in 2010. Patients with qualifying medical conditions, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain, can apply for a medical marijuana card that allows them to purchase and possess up to 3 ounces (85 grams) of marijuana per month. Minors under the age of 18 can also apply for a medical card with parental consent.
Licensed dispensaries in New Jersey can sell both medical and recreational marijuana products, but they must keep them separate and clearly labeled. The state plans to issue licenses for up to 37 new dispensaries to accommodate the increased demand for recreational marijuana. As of 2021, there are currently 12 medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the state.
Adults in New Jersey are allowed to cultivate up to six plants per person for personal use, but homegrown cannabis will not be allowed until the state regulatory framework is in place. Medical marijuana patients are allowed to grow up to 10 plants per household.
It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana in New Jersey. The law sets a legal limit of 5 nanograms of THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana) per milliliter of blood for drivers, but this limit may be adjusted by the state Attorney General based on further research.
Employers in New Jersey can still drug test and take disciplinary action against employees who test positive for THC, even if they have a medical marijuana card. However, the law does include some employment protections for medical marijuana patients. Employers cannot discriminate against employees based on their status as a medical marijuana patient, and cannot fire them or refuse to hire them solely because of their medical marijuana use, unless it would cause the employer to violate federal law or lose a federal contract.
The legalization of recreational marijuana in New Jersey is expected to create new economic opportunities and generate tax revenue for the state. However, it is important to understand the rules and regulations surrounding cannabis use, and to use it responsibly and safely.