Monmouth County Cannabis – Is It Legal & Where To Buy 2024

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Monmouth County?

Yes, but only businesses with Class 1 Cannabis Cultivator licenses are allowed to do so and only in certain localities.

In 2010, the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act  (CUMMA) of New Jersey allowed the sale and use of medical cannabis for qualified patients aged 18 and older. In 2019, the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act expanded the state’s medical marijuana program. On February 22, 2021, the Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization (CREAMM) Act of New Jersey approved the use of recreational cannabis for adults aged 21 and older in the state. New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) oversees the medical and recreational use of cannabis and the cannabis industry.

Under the CREAMM, New Jersey municipalities can set their own regulations regarding cannabis businesses based inside their borders. The only things that municipalities cannot restrict are the delivery of cannabis to consumers within their borders and the passage of cannabis deliveries through their areas.

The CREAMM specifies that a Class 1 Cannabis Cultivator license is necessary to plant and harvest recreational cannabis. The license also authorizes the cannabis cultivator to sell to other licensed cannabis cultivators, licensed cannabis manufacturers, licensed cannabis wholesalers, and licensed cannabis retailers. 

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Monmouth County?

Yes, but only businesses with Class 2 Cannabis Manufacturer licenses are allowed to do so and only in certain localities. Class 2 Cannabis Manufacturer licenses will not be given in towns that have opted out of allowing cannabis businesses within their borders.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Monmouth County?

Yes, but only businesses with Class 5 Cannabis Retailer licenses are allowed to do so and only in certain localities. Class 5 Cannabis Retailer licenses will not be given in towns that have opted out of allowing cannabis businesses within their borders.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Monmouth County?

Yes, but only businesses with a Class 5 Cannabis Retailer license or a Class 6 Cannabis Delivery license are allowed to do so. Both licenses will not be given in towns that have opted out of allowing recreational cannabis businesses to be based within their borders. These licensed cannabis businesses can, however, deliver cannabis purchases to any area within New Jersey and pass through any municipality to do so.

As of writing, the CRC has not yet opened applications for Class 6 Cannabis Delivery licenses in New Jersey. This license authorizes the holder to deliver cannabis products to the homes of consumers on behalf of licensed retailers.

Licensed retailers can deliver to the homes of consumers within New Jersey, using their own personnel. This includes temporary or rented residences but excludes any residence that is on a land or building owned or leased by the Federal government. Licensed retailers are allowed to charge a delivery fee but this must not exceed 10% of the pre-tax amount of each order.

Cannabis delivery is allowed for anyone aged 21 and above, with or without the medical marijuana card. Any legitimate ID card that verifies the age of the buyer can be used for the purchase. The retailer must verify the age of the buyer through the ID when the order is placed. This must be verified again when the product is delivered in person. 

The retailer must log the following for every purchase delivery:

  • Name, address, and signature of recipient
  • Date and time of delivery
  • Name and Cannabis Business ID card number of the delivery personnel
  • Cannabis item name, amount, batch/lot number, and tracking number
  • Confirmation of photographic ID verification of the buyer

The delivery personnel must carry their Cannabis Business ID Card when doing deliveries. The licensed retailer must track the delivery vehicle through GPS. The cannabis product must be kept in a secure lockbox while in transit. At the destination, the product must be handed over to the buyer in person and cannot be left in a dropbox, mailbox, porch, or any similar place. 

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Monmouth County

Residents of New Jersey with the following conditions are eligible to join the New Jersey Medical Cannabis Program (NJMCP) to get a medical marijuana card:

  • 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 Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizure disorder, including epilepsy
  • Terminal illness with a prognosis of less than 12 months to live
  • Tourette Syndrome

The patient’s condition must be certified by a physician registered with the NJMCP. Patients can find registered physicians by specialization or by location online. The physician will provide the patient with a reference number. The patient must then register online with the following requirements:

  1. The reference number from the doctor
  2. A full-face photo taken within the last 60 days
  3. A government-issued photo ID
  4. Any two proofs of residency in New Jersey inclusive of the government ID
  5. The Alternative Treatment Center where the patient intends to purchase medical cannabis
  6. Standard registration fee: $100

The following are qualified for a reduced registration fee of $20:

  • Senior Citizen
  • Military Veteran
  • Medicare recipient
  • NJ Medicaid recipient
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipient
  • NJ Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) recipient
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSD) recipient

After the online registration is completed, the information will be processed. The patient will receive an email confirmation of the approval and a prompt to log in and pay the fees. The state will then mail the medical marijuana card to the patient.

If the patient is a minor or is physically unable to go to an ATC or dispensary to obtain medical cannabis, two caregivers can get medical marijuana cards to make the purchase. In the same registration portal, the patient can add or change a caregiver.

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Monmouth County?

Even if the CREAMM was passed in February 2021, actual retail sales started on April 21, 2022, according to the CRC’s News and Events page. On the first day alone, the 12 licensed dispensaries sold $1.9 million worth of cannabis in gross sales. According to the New Jersey Treasury’s Taxation publication on cannabis businesses, recreational cannabis has a sales tax of 6.625%.

There was also a high level of sales for medical cannabis in the same period. On April 20, 5,400 ounces were sold by ATCs to patients across the state. From April 22 to 26, another 5,400 ounces were sold to patients throughout New Jersey.

As of July 1, 2022 the sales tax on medical marijuana has been removed. Previously, the rate was 2% from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022; and 4% from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. Before that, the sales tax for medical marijuana was also 6.625%.

In Monmouth County, 10 localities approved the possibility of having retail cannabis businesses and two localities approved the possibility of having non-retail cannabis businesses. That means each municipality can levy the following taxes:

  • 2% on every sale by a licensed cannabis retailer
  • 2% on every sale by a licensed cannabis cultivator
  • 2% on every sale by a licensed cannabis manufacturer
  • 1% on every sale by a licensed cannabis wholesaler

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Monmouth County

According to data from the Monmouth Sheriff’s Office reported on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer, from 2009, before the CUMMA was passed, to 2020, marijuana possession offenses decreased from 8 to 5 and marijuana sales offenses decreased from 3 to zero.

Meanwhile, overall drug possession offenses increased from 19 in 2009 to 20 in 2020. Overall drug sale or manufacturing offenses also increased from three to four in 2020. Likewise, drug abuse offenses increased from 22 to 24.

DUI arrests decreased from eight in 2009 to one in 2020.

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Monmouth County Cannabis