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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Where else is recreational weed legal?
New Jersey joins 14 other states, as well as Guam and Washington, DC, in legalizing pot — Colorado, Arizona, South Dakota, Montana, Alaska, California, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
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