Only medical cannabis can be legally purchased at this time. Medical cannabis is only available for registered qualifying patients and must be purchased from an authorized Alternative Treatment Center (ATC).
Regulated recreational cannabis is currently not available. 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.
Generally, an 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.
Both terms refer to the plant of genus Cannabis L. The terms “cannabis” and “marijuana” have traditionally been used interchangeably. However, pursuant to the November 2020 election, Article IV, section VII, paragraph 12 of the New Jersey State Constitution creates a legal distinction between “cannabis” and “marijuana.” In short, “cannabis” refers to the regulated form of the plant (what will be grown, bought, and sold in licensed stores), whereas “marijuana” refers to the unregulated form of the plant (what is grown, bought, and sold in the illicit market).
Hemp and cannabis both derive from the Cannabis plant. The difference is determined in the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in the particular item. THC is the psychoactive compound of the plant that contributes to feeling “high.” Items with a THC concentration of not more than 0.3 percent are considered hemp, and items with a THC concentration < 0.3% have more psychoactive compounds and may be referred to as cannabis, marijuana, or another related name.
Hemp production was legalized in the federal 2018 Farm Bill. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture is responsible for regulating hemp production in New Jersey. Visit the Department of Agriculture’s website for more information.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the cannabis plant. It is typically found in hemp flower or derived from hemp plants as an oil and used for medicinal or therapeutic purposes. It is different from THC in that CBD does not contribute to feeling “high.”
As a derivative of hemp under the federal 2018 Farm Bill, CBD products fall under the regulatory authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Whether individuals can legally sell CBD products depends on the intended use of the product and how it’s labeled, among other things. Visit the FDA’s website for more information.