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Legalization Status

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Not Decriminalized

Medical Marijuana (1)

Medical since 2010

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Not Recreational

New Jersey Governing Body Information


2019 Marijuana Packaging Laws Update

The legalization of recreational marijuana may be in the works for New Jersey. This comes as a surprise as marijuana is not yet decriminalized in the Garden State. Proponents for recreational marijuana suggest that any legislation legalizing marijuana would be as comprehensive as possible. Although news of legalization is welcome news in New Jersey, a recent initiative to legalize marijuana did not receive enough legislative votes and the bill was dead on arrival. As it stands, recreational marijuana is not yet legal in New Jersey. While New Jersey lawmakers will most likely reattempt to legalize marijuana in the near future, growers and retailers of marijuana in New Jersey should remain hopeful. For future updates to New Jersey’s marijuana labeling and packaging law, bookmark this page for your convenience.

2018 Marijuana Packaging Laws Update

The Garden State joined other New England states by adopting a medical cannabis program around the turn of the century after the lobbying in the 1990s. That said, New Jersey’s medical marijuana program started off as one of the strictest among the states with medical cannabis, requiring specific potency levels and limiting the number of strains providers can grow. The final laws of the —- Act (CUMMA) relaxed some statutes to create a patient-focused and scientific program. Laws continue to evolve as new findings about the medical benefits of cannabis come to light.

Compared to other states that have established a medical cannabis program, New Jersey didn’t relax their criminal penalties for cannabis possession early on. The personal use limit was relatively high, but criminal charges and fines for unlicensed cannabis use, cultivation, and distribution were pretty severe. New cannabis laws have been bouncing around the legislature, and the current wish is to pass a law allowing adults small amounts for personal use to put the Garden State on par with many other legal cannabis states.

Medical Cannabis Laws in New Jersey

The Garden State’s Department of Health oversees the NJMMP, or NJ Medical Marijuana Program, which is concerned with tracking evolving laws and medical research, meeting citizen’s needs in regards to limitations of the law, and educating the public on medical cannabis laws and safety. They have a system like many others with medical cannabis dispensaries operational within the state. As always, check with the state agency in charge to see if they are accepting applications for new medical marijuana treatment centers.

Retail Cannabis Business Rules for the Garden State

In New Jersey, medical marijuana dispensaries are called “alternative treatment centers,” and they have a more medical feel than other states medical cannabis dispensaries. For example, the original law is still on the books requiring the THC content to be under 10%, and potency be graded into low, medium, and high. Labels must reflect this, as well as contain some state-mandated text. Packaging guidelines are still being hammered out, but with the strict laws already in place, having child-proof, light proof packaging with plenty of room for labeling is always a good idea for a new cannabis business wanting to operate in New Jersey.

2017 Marijuana Packaging Laws Update

Medical marijuana in New Jersey is governed by the NJ Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program, and their rules and regulations about cannabis packaging focus more on labeling than packaging. Labels must include manufacturer’s and patient’s information, as well as specific text similar to texts required for other natural medical products like herbal remedies. In states like this with vague laws, it can’t hurt for a cannabis business to choose childproof and tamper-evident packaging, just to be on the safe side. For the text of the rules, read on.

“(b) The ATC–plant cultivation shall place a legible, firmly affixed label containing the information specified in (c) below on each package of medical marijuana it dispenses to an ATC–dispensary and shall not dispense medical marijuana if the package does not bear the label.

(c) The label required pursuant to (b) above shall contain the following:

  1. The name and address of the alternative treatment center–plant cultivation that produced the medical marijuana;
  2. The quantity of the medical marijuana contained within the package;
  3. The date that the ATC–plant cultivation packaged the content;
  4. A sequential serial number, lot number, and barcode to identify lot associated with manufacturing and processing;
  5. The cannabinoid profile of the medical marijuana contained within the package, including THC level not to exceed 10 percent;
  6. Whether the medical marijuana is of the low, medium, or high strength strain;
  7. A statement that the product is for medical use by a qualifying patient and not for resale; and
  8. A list of any other ingredients besides medical marijuana contained within the package.

(d) Labeling shall be clear and truthful in all respects and shall not be false or misleading in any particular.

  1. A label containing any statements about the product other than those specified in this chapter shall contain the following statement prominently displayed, and in boldface type: “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

More information on specific packaging guidelines can be found in the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.

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