New Jersey Cannabis Laws + Possession Limits

by Kat Austin December 12, 2023 6 min read

New Jersey Cannabis Laws + Possession Limits - Vida Optima™

New Jersey's stance on cannabis laws has witnessed notable changes, moving from stringent prohibition to embracing medical cannabis and decriminalizing recreational use. While understanding the regulations might appear intricate, let's venture into New Jersey's evolving cannabis legislation. 

We'll explore possession rules, cultivation guidelines, penalties, and the procedures for acquiring and distributing medical marijuana. Join us as we uncover the changing landscape of cannabis laws in New Jersey.

Table of Contents
Is Cannabis Legal in New Jersey?
New Jersey Cannabis Laws
How the Legal Sale of Cannabis Happens
Penalties for Marijuana-Related Crimes
Where to Buy Cannabis Online

Key Takeaways

  • Cannabis is legal for medical and recreational use in New Jersey.
  • Adults can buy up to 1 ounce of cannabis at a time, or up to 3 ounces a month for medical users. 
  • There are penalties for recreational use or for medical users possessing more than the allowable amount of cannabis, for unlicensed sales, and for consuming in public spaces. 

Is Cannabis Legal in New Jersey?

Cannabis flower and concentrate, two forms of cannabis available in New Jersey

Both medical and recreational marijuana are legal in New Jersey. Medical marijuana was first legalized in 2010 under the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. The path to legalizing recreational use was paved by the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act, signed on February 22, 2021. 

This Act legalized marijuana for adults over 21, subject to oversight by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission. It decriminalized possession of small amounts and removed marijuana as a Schedule I drug. Legal sales for adult-use marijuana commenced on April 21, 2022.

Regulations for Adult Use

Adults 21 years and older can legally use cannabis in the state of New Jersey according to the following regulations:

  • Adults use consumers can buy up to 1 ounce of usable cannabis at a time, which equates to:
    • Up to 28.35 grams (equivalent to 1 ounce) of dried flower, or
    • 4 grams of solid cannabis concentrates or resin, or a liquid equivalent of 4 grams of concentrate measured in milliliters, or
    • 4 grams of vaporized formulations (oil), or
    • 1,000 milligrams of multiple ingestible cannabis-infused products, such as 10 packages of 100 milligrams each, like gummies.
  • Adult use consumers can possess up to 6 ounces in their homes. 
  • Adult consumers may use cannabis in private spaces,but will need permission from landlords to consume on rented property.
  • Adults may gift up to 1 ounce of cannabis to another adult 21 years or older without accepting payment.
  • Cannabis can be transported in a personal vehicle in a sealed container in the trunk or another location that is out of reach to any passengers. 

Regulations for Medical Use

A registered New Jersey medical marijuana cardholder has the same rights as adult use consumers, and is also subject to the following regulations:

  • Valid registry ID card required for patients
  • Possession limited to three ounces per month
  • Cannabis must be acquired from regulated dispensaries
  • Legal protection extends to the patient and a designated caregiver

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis in New Jersey

The qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in New Jersey include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Glaucoma
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
  • Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
  • Migraine
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Opioid Use Disorder
  • Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizure disorder, including epilepsy
  • Terminal illness with prognosis of less than 12 months to live
  • Tourette Syndrome

Restrictions for Cannabis Use in New Jersey 

Although cannabis is legal for recreational and medical use, there are restrictions, including: 

  • Recreational cannabis use is restricted to individuals aged 21 and older.
  • Possession limits are set at six ounces of cannabis.
  • Transporting cannabis across state lines, consuming on federal property, and providing it to minors or pregnant women is illegal.
  • Driving under the influence of cannabis is prohibited.
  • Public consumption is illegal within 1000 feet of schools, school buses, or public transport, in correctional facilities, and in vehicles in operation.
  • Home cultivation is currently illegal, but there's a proposed bill (S-3582) allowing adults to grow up to six plants and medical patients up to 10 plants.
  • Property owners can ban cannabis possession and use on their premises.

New Jersey Cannabis Laws

New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA):

  • Decriminalizes marijuana possession for qualifying patients, caregivers, treatment centers, and related entities.
  • The Act was amended in July 2019 (Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act) to protect job rights and establish new drug testing procedures.
  • Provides workplace anti-discrimination provisions and regulates drug testing by employers.

New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance Marketplace Modernization Act (Assembly No. 21):

  • Legalizes recreational cannabis use and possession for adults over 21.
  • Decriminalizes possession of six ounces or less for private use and removes marijuana as a Schedule I drug.
  • Imposes state sales tax (6.625%) and allows a 2% local tax on adult-use cannabis.
  • Defines the responsibilities of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission regarding cannabis regulation and licensing.

Proposed Changes by Cannabis Regulatory Commission:

  • Proposed changes in August 2022 included updates to business activities, regulations for distributors and delivery, employment of individuals from economically disadvantaged areas, revenue collection for social equity investments, and retailer guidance on cannabis use.
  • These changes were adopted in February 2023.

Assembly No. 1897 and 4269 New Jersey Legislature:

  • Decriminalizes possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana, hashish, and regulated marijuana-infused products.
  • Addresses criminal justice reforms, expungement awareness, and legal consequences linked to certain cannabis offenses.

Senate Bill, No. 3454:

  • Addresses underage possession or consumption of cannabis.
  • Establishes fines for individuals aged 18-21 ($250) and under 18 ($500) found with cannabis in public areas or vehicles.

How Cannabis is Bought and Sold in New Jersey

New Jersey began legal recreational marijuana sales in April 2022, but strict limitations on purchase and possession remain in place. The Cannabis Regulatory Commission licensed seven treatment centers for non-medical marijuana sales to individuals over 21. By September 2022, 19 stores were licensed for recreational purchases, allowing one-ounce transactions. State-registered medical marijuana patients can buy from licensed dispensaries, which pay $20,000 in annual fees and are restricted from selling to non-registered residents.

Penalties for Marijuana-related Crimes in New Jersey

Cannabis is legal within specified possession limits. However, there are still some penalties for marijuana-related offenses in New Jersey, including:


  • Up to 6 ounces of cannabis by an adult is legal.
  • Possessing over 6 ounces is a fourth-degree crime with penalties up to 18 months imprisonment and a fine up to $25,000.

Distribution or Possession with Intent:

  • Transfer of up to 1 ounce without remuneration to an adult is legal.
  • Sale or distribution:
    • Less than 1 ounce: First offense is a written warning, subsequent offenses are fourth-degree crimes.
    • 1 ounce - 5 pounds: Third-degree crime, punishable by 3-5 years imprisonment and a fine up to $25,000.
    • 5 pounds - 25 pounds: Second-degree crime, carrying a sentence of 5-10 years and a fine up to $150,000.
    • 25 pounds or more: First-degree crime, with a sentence of 10-20 years and a fine up to $300,000.


  • 1 ounce - 5 pounds: Third-degree crime, punishable by 3-5 years imprisonment and a fine up to $25,000.
  • 5 pounds - 25 pounds: Second-degree crime, carrying a sentence of 5-10 years and a fine up to $150,000.
  • 25 pounds or more: First-degree crime, with a sentence of 10-20 years and a fine up to $300,000.

Hash & Concentrates:

  • Possession of up to 17 grams is legal; transferring less than 5 grams to an adult is also legal.
  • Possession of more than 17 grams is a fourth-degree crime, with a maximum penalty of 18 months imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000.


  • Sale of paraphernalia is a fourth-degree crime punishable by up to 18 months imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000.
  • Sale to minors is a third-degree crime, carrying a sentence of 3-5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000.
  • Advertising paraphernalia sale is a fourth-degree crime, with a maximum penalty of 18 months imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000.


  • Failure to turn over marijuana is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment up to six months and a fine up to $1000.
  • Being under the influence of marijuana is a misdemeanor with potential penalties such as loss of driving privileges, fines, and community service.
  • Driver's license suspension ranges from six months to two years for various offenses related to marijuana.

Legal Cannabis and Buy Online Alternatives

Although cannabis is legal in many states, hemp-derived THC products are still rising as a noteworthy alternative thanks to their affordability and accessibility. Hemp-derived THC products are federally legal, unlike traditional marijuana products, meaning they can often be ordered online and shipped right to your door. 

Read “Is Delta-8 Legal? A State by State Guide to Delta-8-THC Laws” to learn more about hemp THC laws near you, then check out our Elev8 and Cloud9 Collections.

Vida Optima Cloud9 Delta-9-THC Gummies

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