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NJ Cannabis Laws Overview

Where can I consume cannabis? Can my job still drug test me? Read on to find these answers and more!

Who can sell cannabis?

After licenses are awarded by the NJCRC and cannabis businesses are operating, adult consumers 21 years of age or older will be able to purchase recreational cannabis items from licensed recreational cannabis businesses. Medical dispensaries may also be able to sell to recreational consumers depending on whether or not they can demonstrate that they can meet the demand.

How much cannabis can I purchase and possess?

There is a slight discrepancy due to the conflicting limits from the adult-use law and the decriminalization law. The adult-use law permits adults 21 years of age or older to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis. However, the decriminalization law allows the possession of up to six ounces. Thus, it seems that retail purchase limits will be one ounce.

Where can I consume cannabis?

Any adult 21 years of age or older can use cannabis on private property. However, property owners can limit the use of cannabis on their property. The adult-use law has also authorized the creation of consumption lounges depending on municipal approval.

Will cannabis dispensaries make neighborhoods smell like cannabis?

Cannabis businesses are required to contain odors and engage with neighbors who may have concerns about their presence, as well as create and implement environmental sustainability plans. Dispensaries must have a staff member who neighbors can contact with concerns. Community residents can also report issues directly to the CRC.

Customer Safety

Dispensaries are required to have consumer education materials that includes information about potential side effects of cannabis, safe methods of consumption, and signs of substance abuse.

Workplace and DUI laws

While general cannabis use cannot be a determining factor for hiring or firing someone, employers do have the right to maintain a drug and alcohol-free work environment. In-house or contracted Drug Recognition Experts may perform random drug tests for intoxication at work, and may test anyone who appears to be impaired on the job, or who has been in a workplace accident.

Medical cannabis and employment is a complex issue. You can refer to N.J.S.A. C.24:6I-6.1 in the Jake Honig Act, and the 2020 New Jersey Supreme Court case, Wild v Carriage Funeral Holdings, Inc.

Questions about your employer’s policies on drug testing and how they apply to you should be directed to your human resources department and/or a lawyer specializing in employment law.