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Understanding NJ Regulations for Cannabis Edibles in Medical and Adult-Use Markets

ByTrichome Team

October 24, 2022

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Cannabis is now legal for medical use in 37 states, three territories and the District of Columbia, while 19 states, two territories and D.C. have enacted measures that regulate cannabis for adult recreational use. Within those legal markets, the differences in regulations surrounding cannabis flower and cannabis infused products can be stark. 

In Michigan, an individual can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of flower and/or cannabis products from a dispensary. In Colorado, however, that limit is set at 1 ounce of cannabis flower, cannabis-infused products, and/or cannabis concentrates. The limit for purchase is 30 grams in Illinois. For regulating edibles, states limit the amount of milligrams of D9 THC allowed. Most states consistently mandate a maximum serving size of 5 to 10 milligrams of D9 THC per unit, and a per-package limit of 50 to 100 milligrams of D9 THC. Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington all have recreational regulations that fall within these limits. The package limits are much higher in Illinois and Montana, at 500 milligrams and 800 milligrams, respectively.

Are Cannabis Edibles Legal in New Jersey?

Edibles are legal in New Jersey, but they are highly regulated and their forms restricted. Considered by the state to be “ingestible products, “ they can only be in syrup, pill, tablet, capsule and chewable forms. Traditional edibles like brownies and cookies are not legal, because state regulators believe their resemblance to traditional food products could confuse children, who might think they are candy or sweet treats and accidentally ingest cannabis products.

The following language speaks to that concern:

  • “No ingestible product shall be in the shape of, or a shape bearing the likeness or containing characteristics of, a realistic or fictional human, animal, or fruit, or part thereof, including artistic, caricature, or cartoon renderings.”

Another issue preventing additional types of edibles from gaining legality is the potential expiration of perishable items. There is guidance and required testing in N.J.A.C. 17:30 at 6 and 12 months to ensure the stability and shelf life of the product, but in the absence of stability test data, the expiration date is set at 6 months. This may be longer than the shelf life of some types of baked goods and other ingestible products that are not currently allowed in the program.

The regulations do allow for manufacturers to submit a waiver for additional product types, which is an avenue to explore if a current or future operator were interested in adding on new ingestible products not yet available in the program:

  • “Any other form authorized by the Commission, including a form authorized in accordance with the Commission’s power to waive requirements pursuant to N.J.A.C. 17:30-3.[7].” 

17:30-3.7 Waiver (a) The Commission, in accordance with the general purposes and intent of the Act and this chapter, may waive a regulatory requirement regarding the operations of a cannabis business, to the extent such waiver does not conflict with any other State law, if in the Commission’s determination, such a waiver: 1. Is necessary to achieve the purpose of the Act; 2. Is necessary to provide access to cannabis items to consumers; and 3. Does not create a danger to the public health, safety, or welfare.

Under a similar power to waive product type requirements, the New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) recently approved a waiver for some businesses to create medical products in the form of concentrates such as wax and shatter. So, while baked goods are not allowed right now, the current regulations have established a pathway for approval.

Regulations for Medical and Recreational Edibles in New Jersey

In the Garden State, the regulations for medical edibles are 10 milligrams D9 THC per serving and 350 milligrams per package. Recreational edibles for a single serving are no more than 10 milligrams D9 THC with a package limit of not more than 100 milligrams. No commercially manufactured or trademarked food products are allowed, and each ingestible product must have a universal symbol marked, stamped or imprinted directly on it.

At Trichome Analytical, only about 5-10% of the testing we provide is on edibles. With new regulations on the horizon, as well as the continued maturation of New Jersey’s cannabis industry and an increased willingness of politicians to embrace and properly regulate different types of edibles, we are hopeful that that percentage will increase. The state has shown an eagerness to advance the industry and an understanding of how edibles can better serve medical cannabis patients. That is a positive development, and we await legislation that broadens the scope of what manufacturers can produce and what retailers can sell.

At Trichome Analytical, we support cannabis product innovation and the growing industries in New Jersey, New York and other states with legal cannabis markets. Click here to learn more about our testing services.