On April 21, 2022, New Jersey became the latest state to sell recreational marijuana legally. It is only the 4th state on the eastern seaboard, the only state south of Massachusetts to sell marijuana to adults over 21 years old, even those without a medical marijuana card.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy claimed that "a brand-new industry is taking hold in the Garden State," with an estimated $121 million in cannabis revenue, mostly from taxes and fees, in the fiscal year 2023.
Voters in New Jersey approved recreational marijuana legalization in November 2020.
To provide a safe, legal market – instead of the black market - it is estimated that the state has 800,000 potential recreational marijuana customers. Currently, there are 130,000 medical marijuana patients in the Garden State.
Thirteen dispensaries are open to adults over 21 years old, even those without a medical marijuana card. For now, recreational customers are only allowed to purchase one ounce of marijuana at a time. Under state law, individuals won't face any charges or citations if they have six ounces or less of marijuana. However, similar to liquor laws, weed cannot be consumed on the street or in a car (even if you are a passenger).
In a departure from other states, off-duty cops can use legal weed per marijuana legalization laws in the state. Acting New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin issued a memo, in April 2022, alerting police chiefs that law enforcement agencies "may not take any adverse action against any officers because they do or do not use cannabis off duty," which was codified in the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act.
Police officers cannot possess or use marijuana while on the clock or performing any work while under the influence.
Three-quarters of US states have legalized marijuana. In 2021 recreational, or adult-use, cannabis market hit almost $15 billion. The market is expected to exceed $25 billion by 2025.