The answer to the question, “is weed legal in New Jersey” is, yes. Weed is legal in New Jersey for both recreational and medical consumption. It has not been legal for that long, however. Weed has been legal since an amendment passed in the state legislature for the New Jersey constitution on January 1, 2021. New laws signed by Democrat Governor Phil Murphy have enabled the consumption of medical and recreational marijuana.
The Legalization of Marijuana
Citizens of New Jersey have been fighting for the legalization of marijuana for years. In 2018, during the 2018 and 2019 legislative session any effort to decriminalize marijuana failed. A referendum in 2019 went through the legislatu5re and by 2020, the initiative met with 67 percent approval. By the end of 2020, the state government began approving bills for the recreational sale of marijuana.
Those matters are still being addressed, although dispensaries are now running in New Jersey, albeit, not very many.
Dispensaries in New Jersey
Some citizens of New Jersey may still be asking, is weed legal in New Jersey, because the number of dispensaries to purchase cannabis and cannabis products is low. Until Governor Murphy took office, during the time of Republican Governor Chris Christie, there were only six dispensaries in the state.
Delays continue today with licensing matters as well. And some groups have cast racial and social inequities into the mix of the conversation of the legalization of marijuana.
Still, anyone that is over the age of 21 can buy cannabis under the new legislation, from a licensed dispensary. This has effectively decriminalized marijuana, bringing a halt to the tens of thousands of arrests every year for minor possession charges. Now, New Jersey residents can possess up to six ounces without violating cannabis legislation.
First priority for dispensaries goes to medical marijuana distributors when they can show that their product will meet the demands of their community. Now, companies that are selling medical marijuana can have up to three dispensaries of their own.
There has also been an increase in the number of patients requiring medical marijuana which has made things difficult from a licensing standpoint. The state is patiently awaiting new licenses, and more dispensaries.
In 2021, the guidelines stipulated that medical dispensaries must prove that they are growing, processing, and selling their marijuana from their own licensed locations, and nowhere else. They have to certify who their patients are in terms of demographics, but not by personal identifiers.
Yes, weed is legal in New Jersey, however it is still not a mainstream concept.