New Jersey made the news when it was the latest state to legalize the use of recreational marijuana. However, months later, the rules and laws are still unclear. New Jersey residents have still not yet been able to legally buy recreational marijuana. A few months ago, the state informed cities that they would have the option to opt out of allowing cannabis firms, but they had to do so by Aug. 21, 2021. This date has come and gone, and an estimated 50 percent of communities have opted out of it.
What Does Opting Out Mean?
Opting out would mean that the city won’t allow the sale of cannabis. While use and possession are still legal based on state law, residents would have to buy elsewhere. It’s also important to note that more cities may eventually change their mind. If a city opted in to allow marijuana sales, they must allow it for a minimum of five years. However, cities that opted out, do have the option to change their mind at any time.
This leads many to believe that most of the cities that are opted out are doing so to find out how sales affect other cities. Some have concerns about how selling marijuana will affect crime rates. Additionally, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission is still figuring out the details. A lot of cities have stated that they want to wait until a plan is actually in place.
The commission did have the same due date as the cities requirement to opt-out. They were required to share their plan along with their proposed rules by this date. The rules, however, are still vague.
How Many Cities Will Sell Legal Marijuana?
As of late August, approximately 60 cities had opted into the sale of legal marijuana. These communities have also decided to create their own rules. Of course, they will have to follow and align with whatever rules the commission sets.
What Else Was Included in This Law?
In addition to the legalization of recreational weed, the state has also taken action to decriminalize it. This means if you’re caught in possession of six ounces or less of marijuana, you won’t be charged. However, you must be at least 21 years of age but, even those who are minors will receive reduced consequences, usually in the form of a warning. The state has already taken action to dismiss thousands of cases involving the now legal limit of marijuana. It will take some time to make it through the backlog.
It’s also important to note that while possession and use of marijuana are now decriminalized, it still isn’t yet legal to buy marijuana. It will take some time for the state to set up a database of approved stores, as well as the accompanying rules of purchase. In the meantime, it’s best to avoid buying marijuana until a plan is in place. If you’re currently dealing with drug charges in New Jersey, you need a lawyer that can help you navigate an ever-changing landscape.
Contact an Experienced Mount Laurel Drug Defense Attorney About Your Marijuana Drug Crime Charges in New Jersey
Have you been charged with a drug-related offense in New Jersey? A drug crime conviction can carry with it heavy fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspension! That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified drug defense lawyer about your case. The Law Offices of Michele Finizio represents clients charged with use, possession, production, distribution, and related drug offenses in Mount Laurel, Willingboro, Pemberton, Burlington Township, and throughout New Jersey. Call (609) 230-0374 or fill out our confidential online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office located at 9 E. Main St, Moorestown, NJ 08057, in addition to an office located in Cherry Hill, NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.