Article written by Nathan J. Mammarella, Esq
CBD & Marijuana in NJ at a Glance
- Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, does not contain THC
- CBD is derived from hemp and provides positive effects such as calmness, relief from anxiety and pain
- CBD is legal in New Jersey and can be purchased without a prescription
- Marijuana remains illegal in New Jersey for recreational use
- The legalization of marijuana will be put to a vote on November 3, 2020
Marijuana and CBD products are becoming mainstream through wellness treatments and recreational use. In some instances, they are legal to possess and use, but not in others. Below we look at the difference between marijuana and CBD and address issues of law regarding the two.
What is the Difference Between CBD and Marijuana (THC)?
Cannabidiol or CBD, is found in both hemp and cannabis plants. The big difference between CBD and marijuana is that tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, is non-existent or is only present in trace amounts of hemp-derived CBD. Because hemp-derived CBD does not contain this psychoactive component, hemp CBD users do not receive the ‘high’ that comes from ingesting marijuana.
Is CBD Legal in NJ?
Only hemp-derived CBD is legal in New Jersey due to the THC level being so minute. CBD extracted from marijuana plants, containing higher levels of THC, may be legally obtained only be persons registered in New Jersey’s medical marijuana program. Registration requires a prescription from a doctor.
CBD products available in oils, creams and edibles, are sold without requiring a prescription or marijuana purchaser card. Frequently marketed as herbal remedies, these products contain CBD derived from hemp. Because hemp-derived CBD contains no, or only trace amounts of THC, these products are legal to sell, possess, and use.
Many CBD users report positive effects from CBD, such as calmness, relief from anxiety, and pain relief. So far, clinical studies have been inconclusive to establish medical proof, but testing continues to explore the potential role of CBD in addressing symptoms of many common health issues regarding anxiety, movement disorders, and pain.
Is Recreational Use of Marijuana Legal in New Jersey?
Although public opinion in New Jersey favors permitting the legal recreational use of marijuana, possessing and using marijuana remains illegal, unless acquired from a licensed marijuana dispensary by one possessing a marijuana purchaser card. Under New Jersey’s current Marijuana Laws criminal conviction for possessing even a small amount of marijuana is a Disorderly Persons Level offense in New Jersey, which results in a criminal record.
Sentencing for possessing marijuana may include:
- expensive fines and penalties
- up to one hundred and eighty (180) days in the county jail.
That all may change in November. When New Jersey voters go to the polls on November 3, 2020, they will vote on a referendum regarding the possession and use of marijuana. A ‘yes’ vote in favor of the referendum will legalize recreational use of marijuana by those twenty-one (21) years or older, effective January 1, 2021. There is also legislation pending to decriminalize marijuana.
To learn more about the current status of decriminalization and legalization of marijuana in New Jersey, see our blog here.
Contact Rosenberg | Perry & Associates
If you have questions about CBD in New Jersey, any criminal matter, arrest, drug court, or criminal charges such as a DUI or Restraining Order in New Jersey, contact the attorneys at Rosenberg Perry & Associates. We provide free consultations and are happy to help you with your case.