Recreational weed is finally legal in New Jersey after years of failed legislative attempts.

While the historic law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy Monday allows for the possession of up to six ounces of marijuana, it will take time for Garden State residents 21 and older to be able to legally purchase weed.

Here’s a look into the state’s rollout of the law.

When and where can I buy weed?

Give it some time. The state still has to set up a marketplace and regulations for the new industry, which Murphy said could take months.

Experts have told NJ.com that legal sales could begin in early 2022.

Purchases will initially be made at existing medical marijuana dispensaries, but only after they show they have enough dope for the nearly 100,000 patients in New Jersey.

The Cannabis Regulatory Commission, which will oversee the industry, has six months to enact its rules and regulations before it’ll start accepting new licensees for recreational businesses. 

But a recent court ruling may help hasten the process — the state Department of Health may soon be able to dole out up to 24 new licenses to dispensaries, NJ.com said.

However, the new law limits the number of licenses to grow pot to 37 in the first two years.

Illustration of NJ state sign, with marijuana leaves
A law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy allows for the possession of up to six ounces of marijuana.

Where will I be able to smoke it?

It’s still prohibited to use pot in public settings. But the new law calls for the creation of “consumption lounges” where you can bring your own weed to enjoy.

How much will it cost?

That depends. The price-per-ounce will fluctuate based on supply and demand.

But what’s certain are the 7 percent sales tax and an up to 2 percent municipal tax on pot sales.

An excise fee will also be imposed on cannabis growers on a sliding scale, depending on the cost per ounce. If an ounce costs $350, a $10 tax will be levied. The tax rises to $60 if the price drops to less than $250.

The law is designed so that the bulk of the sales tax — and 100 percent of the excise fee — will go to 20 designated communities of color that have been disproportionately affected by prior drug laws.

So, will I get arrested if I’m caught with pot?

Effective immediately, those in the Garden State can carry up to 6 ounces without the threat of fines or arrest.

Those under 21 are now subject to a series of written warnings — the first warning would go to themselves, the second to a parent and the third would involve a referral to a community program, such as drug education or treatment, NJ.com reported.

The new law also creates a way for pending cases involving marijuana offenses to be dismissed, and offers more protections when it comes to pot.

Police can no longer stop someone because they smell marijuana. They must also have body cameras turned on when interacting with young people and cannot detain them beyond issuing a warning.

Can I grow marijuana at home?

No. The three bills signed into law by Murphy do not allow for home-grow operations.

If I live in a neighboring state, can I buy marijuana in New Jersey?

Technically, though federal laws would prevent you from crossing state lines with it — which could prove hard to enforce.



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