Last night, New Jersey voters overwhelmingly backed Question 1 to permit the possession, sale and use of recreational marijuana for adults 21 years and over. About 67% of New Jersey voters voted in favor of this measure as of last night, now marking New Jersey as the 12th state to legalize marijuana.
So, what exactly does this mean for those looking to get their hands on marijuana who don’t possess a medical card? Well, don’t think you’ll be able to go out today and buy it legally and smoke it publicly without getting a ticket or possibly even arrested. It’ll likely be well over a year before recreational marijuana users can make those purchases, especially since additional dispensaries will need to be added in order to ensure medical users still have access to their supply. Additionally, you’ll notice the ballot did not contain any regulatory framework, which will be needed before we see anything circulating freely amongst New Jerseyans. As of now, it will be up to the discretion of the Legislature and CRC (Cannabis Regulatory Commission) to act swiftly. The CRC has been managing the market for medical marijuana in the state, and now will be responsible for managing the emerging recreational market. Next, the Legislature will need to take the steps toward creating new marijuana laws and steps for full decriminalization.
So what does this mean for medical users?
Rest assured, your marijuana access will not be compromised. While some state senators suggested using current medical marijuana dispensaries as a starting point for a brick and mortar beginning for recreational sales, it was quickly shut down by others, citing that the capacity of these medical dispensaries cannot handle the demand that personal use sales would bring, ultimately jeopardizing medical user’s access. In addition, medical marijuana quality and potency will always be steps above that of recreational marijuana. If you are holding off getting your medical card in hopes of being able to use it recreationally, you’ll likely be waiting quite a bit of time. While the Legislature can move quickly, we all know it does take quite some time to get all the framework outlined and passed. It is especially important for those seeking marijuana for medical issues to get seen by a doctor to ensure proper treatment. Self diagnosis and medicating is never a good idea.
If you believe you are a candidate for medical marijuana, send us a message or give us a call today!