Published on December 23, 2020.
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New Jersey residents who are at least 21 years of age or older and have a valid government-issued id will be allowed to possess up to 6 ounces of cannabis.
So far, Medical patients were only allowed a purchase limit of 50 g or less and anything above that warranted harsh penalties, but changes will be enacted from Jan 2021, and now an adult can carry up to 170 g of marijuana at any time.
Patients with the following conditions can qualify for medical marijuana use:
Visit the Division of Medical Marijuana for more details.
No, S21 does not allow New Jersey residents to cultivate cannabis at home. The only legal cannabis in the state will be cannabis grown at a state-licensed cultivation facility, and there will remain stiff criminal penalties for home cannabis growers, as before.
Under New Jersey’s state law, cultivation of ten or more marijuana plants is a felony crime, punishable by a $150,000 fine or up to ten years in prison.
New Jersey marijuana users may only consume cannabis in the privacy of their homes.
The Division of Medical Marijuana is in charge of awarding licenses for medical dispensaries but currently, no new applications are being accepted.
For cannabis retail licenses, licenses will be awarded by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission and more updates will be available by January 2021.
Residents of New Jersey, aged 21 and above can apply for a business license, either alone or in partnership with someone. In the first 2 years, only 37 recreational cannabis licenses will be awarded.
However, social equity considerations have been taken into account by introducing exclusive business incentives for minorities, women and veterans, and 25% of all legal cannabis licenses will be awarded to residents of disproportionately impacted communities.
For the first 18 months, no business will be allowed to have both cultivation and retail cannabis licenses. There will be additional restrictions against vertical integration that will prevent the formation of possible monopolies.
A medical dispensary is prohibited to apply for a retail license unless special approval is given by the commission and the municipality it operates in.
The newly formed Cannabis Regulatory Commission will have up to 180 days to come out with their regulations after the enactment of law on Jan 1, 2020. The commission would begin accepting and processing applications for licenses and conditional licenses within 30 days after the commission's initial rules and regulations have been adopted.
Permanent license: If approved, a license would be issued by the commission not later than 30 days after a notice of approval has been given, unless the applicant is found to not be in compliance with relevant regulations or local regulating ordinances applicable to their business operations. An issued license would expire after one year, but could be renewed following submission of a new application, in which the applicant would detail aspects of the cannabis licensee's operations and on-going compliance measures as part of the renewal process.
Conditional license: The applicant would not need to be in compliance with every aspect of the regulatory requirements expected for full licensure in order to obtain a conditional license, but would need to provide sufficient plans for actions to be taken to eventually achieve compliance for full licensure. During a 120-day period following issuance of the conditional license, if it is determined that the conditional licensee is in compliance with all plans to achieve full licensure, it would replace the conditional license with a full, annual license, dated to expire one year from its date of issuance, otherwise, the conditional license would expire after the 120 days period.
Watch this space in 3-6 months from now for more details on the application process.
Learn how to remain compliant with New Jersey’s cannabis retail laws.
Each municipality has its own laws and regulations regarding this, and although the state of New Jersey has legalized recreational cannabis, municipalities are allowed to implement the law as they please. So read up more on your region-specific regulations before deciding on a location.
Licensed adult-use marijuana retailers may sell cannabis to adults aged 21 and older, with a valid government-issued identification card, and employees are required to check purchasers’ IDs before making the sale.
Marijuana stores may sell cannabis, cannabis resin, cannabis products and cannabis extracts, but seedlings, immature marijuana plants and marijuana paraphernalia are prohibited.
Marijuana retail stores can not operate as a medical marijuana dispensary or primary caregiver at the same location as the adult-use marijuana store, and dispensaries are not allowed to sell cannabis for recreational use either.
New Jersey state sales tax rate of 6.625% would apply to purchases of recreational cannabis, with local municipalities only permitted to impose an additional 2% tax.
Yes, delivery of medical marijuana to patients in New Jersey is permitted, but the health department requires anyone delivering cannabis to have a GPS tracking system on their vehicles. Home delivery of recreational cannabis will be allowed as well, but retailers must seek permission from local municipalities for the same.
Businesses providing courier services to a licensed cannabis retailer must apply for an exclusive Cannabis Delivery license in order to make deliveries of cannabis items and related supplies to a consumer.
Retailer licensees can start sales of cannabis items on any date after the date that the Cannabis Regulatory Commission adopts its initial rules and regulations. Retailers can legally sell to persons 21 years of age or older, so long as the municipality in which it is located is engaged in retail sales.
Prior to and during this transition phase leading up to eventual retail sales of cannabis items, every municipality would have the option to authorize and regulate the times of operation, place, manner, and number of licensed cannabis businesses operating within its jurisdiction, in a manner consistent with the bill's regulation of such businesses.
More details to come.
Most states require dispensaries and cannabis stores to track and trace all of their cannabis products for regulatory and compliance reporting requirements. Records identifying the source of each ingredient must include the date of receipt of the ingredient, vendor’s name and address, name of the ingredient, etc. The vendor’s batch number, lot number of the product and control number used to identify all components in the marijuana product(s), as well as the grade and quantity must be mentioned in inventory reports.
New Jersey has not appointed an official cannabis monitoring system yet, and both Metrc and Bio-track are currently vying for this coveted partnership.
Yes, Cova's Cannabis Dispensary POS Software and inventory management system includes all the features needed to keep cannabis retailers compliant, including:
First, no advertisements for anything cannabis-related can be attractive to minors (no cartoon characters or public figures appealing to a younger age group) or promote underage or out-of-state consumption. Second, no product can claim any therapeutic or curative effects. Lastly, any cannabis advertisement must include the following government warnings:
"This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming.";
"Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug.";
"There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product."; and
"For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children.”
Each licensed retail location can have two signs at their location with their business name or trade name. These signs cannot be larger than 1,600 square feet (measured from the outer frame). No signs can be on the road pointing in the direction of the dispensary, they can only be affixed or hanging from the building or windows of the actual storefront.
The signs can include the business name, location and identify the nature of the business. It cannot have any photos or depictions of cannabis and it cannot be appealing to minors.
A cannabis dispensary can advertise on billboards with some restrictions. First, the billboard can only contain the same information as signage on the storefront (i.e., name of business, address and nature of business). It cannot contain any photos or depictions of the cannabis plant (this includes any logo with a cannabis leaf) or appeal to minors. No matter the design, the billboard must say that cannabis can only be purchased and possessed by adults over 21 years old.
No, dispensaries cannot give away any product or coupons. They can, however, encourage customers to sign up for an email or text list and offer specials that way.
No, a dispensary is only allowed to sell legal cannabis products and paraphernalia. But branded merchandise for a dispensary can be sold on their website or through a separate entity.
Yes, a dispensary is allowed to advertise in print publications, but with a few restrictions. The publication cannot target or distribute to an audience out of state or underage. And the content of the advertisement must follow the same rules as billboards and signage (no cannabis depictions or photos, cartoon characters or anything appealing to minors and must include government warnings). Local jurisdictions are able to establish additional advertising rules, so always check for relevant local laws.
A retail cannabis business can have a website, but it cannot appeal to or solicit anyone under the age of 21. You can sell branded non-cannabis merchandise on your website, but all cannabis products must be purchased in store.
Yes, a dispensary can host or sponsor an event, but only if attendees are over 21 years old. They cannot have product on hand, neither as a free gift or sold.
Rules and regulations regarding advertising for Washington cannabis companies are constantly changing. You can view the WSLCB’s Q&A on advertising here.
Cova POS software provides complete seed-to-sale tracking functionality and has a number of built-in features designed to help you automatically comply with the legal regulations in your state/province. For example, the Cova POS system automatically monitors:
To ensure that you always maintain an expedient transaction pace and keep lines moving, Cova comes with a built-in offline sales processing mode that enables continuous access to critical functions even when your Wi-Fi or internet connection is unavailable. Once connectivity is restored, all transactions performed in offline mode are synchronized with the state’s reporting system, data is backed up, and reports and inventory records are adjusted accordingly.
By choosing a POS system with built-in tax reporting functionality, you’ll always know exactly how much tax you need to pay.
There are several reasons why a cannabis-specific POS is ideal for your operation—but the most important one is compliance management. Because traditional retail operations and pharmacies don’t have the same government-mandated compliance requirements, their POS systems aren’t built to manage the complexities involved with track and trace reporting and the other aspects of state compliance.
With the industry still in its infancy, regulations are bound to change. At Cova, our team keeps up with industry-wide and state-specific changes so that our developers can quickly made necessary software updates—and so you never have to worry about remaining compliant with the latest regulations.
Absolutely! Cova software is built on technology that has the ability to dynamically scale with your needs. Microsoft’s Cloud Computing Platform, Azure, automatically detects instances of heavy traffic (such as sales on 4/20) and assigns further servers and computing power as necessary to compensate—allowing you to process sales without interruption, even during the busiest retail periods.
Although technically you are not mandated to comply with the new law and regulations until July, it’s a good idea to implement a compliant POS now so you don’t have to switch later.
With Cova, you can easily stay compliant with California’s inventory reconciliation requirement by printing the Inventory-on-hand report and checking it against your physical inventory. You can make any necessary adjustments directly into the POS, which will then sync the data across your network.
Cannabis Business Lawyer & Founding Partner, Segev LLP
Ron Segev is the founding partner of Segev LLP. A practical-minded business lawyer with expertise in the cannabis industry, he represents cultivators, dispensaries, CBD extractors, oil extractors, food processors, media and marketing companies, consultancies, and other businesses in the legal cannabis market.