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

  1. New Jersey Cannabis
  2. Ocean County Cannabis

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Ocean County?

Yes. In November 2020, voters approved the New Jersey Public Question 1, the constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana in the state. The general election resulted in more than 67% (≈2.7 million) of the total voters answering YES to legalizing a controlled form of marijuana called “cannabis.” In Ocean County, Over 60% of the voters approved the amendment mentioned above.

Following this amendment, Article IV, Section VII, paragraph 13 of the New Jersey State Constitution provides:

“The growth, cultivation, processing, manufacturing, preparing, packaging, transferring, and retail purchasing and consumption of cannabis, or products created from or which include cannabis, by persons 21 years of age or older, and not by persons under 21 years of age, shall be lawful and subject to regulation by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission created by P.L.2019, c.153 (C.24:6I-5.1 et al.), or any successor to that commission.”

The Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) is tasked to enact and enforce rules and regulations on the purchase and sale of recreational cannabis, manage the state’s cannabis program for medicinal purposes, and regulate and issue licenses to cannabis manufacturers and dispensaries.

Outdoor cultivation of cannabis is only permitted to licensed businesses. No current New Jersey law allows the growing of cannabis in private or residential areas.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Ocean County?

Yes. The CRC issued Class 2 Cannabis Manufacturer licenses to businesses that wish to manufacture or produce cannabis goods. The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization (CREAMM) Act provides for six (6) license types that cannabis businesses can apply for:

  1. Class 1 Cannabis Cultivator
  2. Class 2 Cannabis Manufacturer
  3. Class 3 Cannabis Wholesaler
  4. Class 4 Cannabis Distributor
  5. Class 5 Cannabis Retailer
  6. Class 6 Cannabis Delivery

A conditional license is the 7th type issued to businesses pending their application for the six permits.

To aid businesses with the application process, the CRC provided a step-by-step guide on how to apply for Recreational Cannabis Business License. After being familiarized with the process, they can now register through the New Jersey CRC Portal.

Permitted cannabis businesses must renew their license yearly with the NJ-CRC. The Commission provides the list of licensed medicinal and personal-use cannabis businesses.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Ocean County?

Yes. However, as of writing, Ocean County has no licensed cannabis dispensary.

Adults aged 21 years can buy recreational cannabis and cannabis products at a licensed dispensary. In every transaction, one is allowed to buy one (1) ounce of cannabis. According to the CREAMM Act, the CRC defines cannabis products which include dried flowers, concentrated oils, resins, vape formulas, lozenges, soft chews, concentrates, concentrates in solution (i.e., tinctures), ingestible products (i.e., syringes, gummies), and other liquid forms (i.e., topicals).

Possessing a combination of cannabis and cannabis products is allowed as long as the total weight is one (1) ounce.

For registered patients in the Medicinal Cannabis Program, the maximum amount that can be purchased allowed by law is 3 ounces for a 30-day period. An authorized doctor or health care practitioner will determine the dosage. However, terminally-ill patients are exempted from this rule.

Note that not all retail stores sell both medicinal and recreational cannabis.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Ocean County?

Yes. Eligible individuals may order cannabis and cannabis products from licensed dispensaries and deliver them straight to their door. Since Ocean County does not have licensed dispensaries in their towns, the residents may opt to acquire their weed products through home delivery.

A consumer may either buy directly to the cannabis dispensary and have them shipped, or through the cannabis delivery service. Medical cannabis patients are still required to present their medical cannabis patient identification card when purchasing their products. Although recreational use has been allowed in the state, the presentment of their ID entitles them to several benefits, such as availing three (3) ounces of weed per month, than non-patients who can legally only buy a maximum of one (1) ounce per transaction. For recreational users, dispensaries shall only require a government-issued identification card as proof the individual is 21 years old and above.

Business entities must apply for a Class 6 Cannabis Delivery license to transport or provide courier services for consumer purchase of cannabis products and other related implements supplied by a cannabis retailer. The CRC website has provided a guide on how to apply for cannabis business licenses.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Ocean County

The Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act was named after the legacy of Jake, a boy who passed away due to brain cancer. To ease Jake’s pain and other symptoms, using medical cannabis was the family’s last resort. At the time, the law limited the purchase of cannabis to two ounces per month, which is less than what Jake needed. Thus, Jake’s Law was passed, allowing registered patients under the New Jersey Medicinal Cannabis Program (NJMCP) to safely access cannabis from regulated facilities under the supervision of health practitioners.

To obtain a medical cannabis card, first, check out the step-by-step patient registration and log-in found on NJCRC's official website. In order to qualify as a patient in the NJMCP, the following requirements are:

  1. Maintain a bona fide relationship with a registered health care provider

  2. Be a resident of New Jersey

  3. A healthcare practitioner registered with the NJCMP must have diagnosed you with a qualifying medical condition such as:

    • Anxiety
    • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
    • Cancer
    • Chronic pain
    • Crohn's disease
    • Dysmenorrhea
    • Epilepsy
    • Glaucoma
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Migraine
    • Muscular dystrophy
    • Opioid Use Disorder
    • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
    • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    • Seizure disorders
    • Tourette Syndrome
    • Terminal illness with a prognosis of 1 year or less to live

Next, make sure to have the required documents before registering:

  1. Get the reference number provided by your doctor
  2. Determine an Alternative Treatment Center where you can access your cannabis-related medicine doses
  3. Have your most recent photo
  4. Bring at least one (1) government-issued ID
  5. Proof that you reside in New Jersey
  6. If you are seeking a subsidized registration fee, you will need to have proof of government assistance.

Once you are qualified and are ready with the necessary documents, register as an NJMCP patient here.

Medicinal Marijuana Program Customer Service

For patients, caregivers, and health care practitioners:

Phone: 609-292-0424

Email: medcannabis@crc.nj.gov

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Ocean County?

If weed sales rack up more, then there is increased tax revenue. The New Jersey Division of Tax shall oversee and administer the taxes imposed upon the use and sale of recreational cannabis. Recreational cannabis purchases made by individuals and business entities are subject to sales tax and social equity excise fees. The Division of Taxation imposes 6.625% sales tax rate on recreational cannabis.

The Division of Taxation does not regulate local transfer taxes. Instead, respective municipalities shall impose local cannabis transfer tax by adopting an ordinance regulating the sale of cannabis within their jurisdiction.

On the other hand, as of July 1, 2022, medical cannabis is not subject to sales tax anymore.

With the lack of data regarding cannabis sales and revenue in the state, Dr. Menifield of Rutger University-Newark conducted a study entitled “Estimating Recreational Marijuana Tax Revenues in New Jersey.” The study concluded that around $120 million to $170 million would be collected by the state yearly after legalizing marijuana collected from excise taxes, sales taxes, and license and application fees.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Ocean County

According to the FBI Crime Data, nearly 20,000 arrests were made for the offense of marijuana possession while more than 3,000 arrests were made for marijuana sales and manufacturing. Medical and recreational cannabis in New Jersey became legal on January 1, 2021, after the residents approved the amendment to the state constitution. It was only in April of 2022 that recreational cannabis was available in retail stores.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has yet to release its crime report on the illegal possession, sale, and manufacturing of marijuana in New Jersey to be able to compare how cannabis legalization affected crime rates in the state.

Dr. Farley and Dr. Orchowsky conducted a study on the impacts of marijuana legalization using state crime data in Washington and Oregon. These states legalized the use and possession of cannabis in 2012 and 2015, respectively. In conclusion, years subsequent to the legalization of recreational use of cannabis resulted in a decrease in marijuana-related arrests. Furthermore, while tax revenue and sales increased for state funds, the respondents fear the negative outcomes: increased use of cannabis among the youth, increased drugged driving, and unproportionate use of funds to regulate the cultivation and distribution of marijuana, among others.

Regardless of the lack of current data in New Jersey, by analogy, a decrease in crime rates shall be expected in the state along with the increase in tax revenue and sales generated from the cannabis business.

In this section:
Ocean County Cannabis