Delta 8 New Jersey Facts & Is Delta 8 Legal in New Jersey?
Delta 8 New Jersey Facts & Is Delta 8 Legal in New Jersey?

Delta 8 has soared in popularity in recent years. Federally legalized in 2018, the compound has become commonplace among users in many states due to its relaxing effects and mild potency. Even so, some states have moved to heavily restrict and even outright ban the compound within their jurisdictions. But is the Garden State one of these restrictors, or is delta 8 legal in New Jersey?

Is Delta 8 Legal in New Jersey?

Before jumping into New Jersey’s delta 8 laws, let’s take a step back and quickly go over the Farm Bill, or the piece of federal legislation that made hemp-derived products a possibility in all 50 states. Also known as the Agriculture Improvement Act, the Farm Bill passed in 2018 and effectively legalized hemp and hemp-derived products.

Needless to say, legalization was the most important aspect of the Farm Bill regarding hemp, but the legislation also created an important legal distinction within cannabis plants: it separated hemp and marijuana. Under federal law, hemp plants refer to cannabis plants containing 0.3% THC or less on a dry weight basis, while cannabis plants over that 0.3% THC limit are considered marijuana.

While the Farm Bill fully legalized hemp and all of its derivatives, including compounds like delta 8, it did not legalize marijuana. As a matter of fact, marijuana remains a schedule I controlled substance and is considered illegal in the eyes of the federal government. The Biden administration, however, recently released a statement expressing its desire to revisit that stance. The release stated Biden’s intention to pardon all federal offenses for simple marijuana possession and urged states to do the same at their own levels. Additionally, it stated their plan to remove marijuana’s classification—which at this time groups it with drugs like heroin and LSD—in the Controlled Substances Act.

If Biden really is trying to make cannabis legal for recreational use, safe and accessible marijuana may be a reality for Americans around the country in the near future. For now, however, hemp-derived cannabinoids remain the only federally legal way for US citizens to experience the effects of cannabis.

With a deeper knowledge of what the Farm Bill means to hemp, let’s go back to the Garden State. Is delta 8 legal in New Jersey?

The answer to that question is a resounding yes! New Jersey legalized delta 8 under A-1330, which passed in 2018 in accordance with the federal Farm Bill. So, hemp-derived delta 8 is legal in the Garden State as long as it does not surpass the legal limit of 0.3% THC. While there is no upcoming legislation that could challenge the legality of delta 8 in New Jersey, many other states are currently regulating, restricting, or outright banning delta 8 product, so the compound future remains unknown.

Delta 8 New Jersey Facts & Is Delta 8 Legal in New Jersey?

Shipping Delta 8 Products to & from New Jersey

Because delta 8 is legal to use, possess, sell, distribute, purchase, and produce in the Garden State, it is also lawful for purchase delta 8 products in person or online all throughout the state. While the compound is available in brick-and-mortar smoke shops, many consumers opt to buy their product online for a plethora of reasons, including more transparency and variety.

Online retailers tend to be much more transparent about the products that they sell, often offering full ingredient lists and third-party lab tests for all of their products. Delta 8 production is unregulated, so finding a trustworthy retailer that is committed to safety over profits is of the essence. Third-party lab testing means that you can enjoy your cannabinoids without the worry of impurities, contaminants, or other harmful additives.

Additionally, it’s much easier to judge a retailer’s reputation when shopping online. A quick Google search can tell you everything you need to know about a seller, from the quality of their products to the kind of customer experience you would have if shopping with them. Many online retailers also post information on their production processes on their site, including what kind of hemp they use in their products and how exactly their compounds are extracted from hemp.

Finally, online cannabinoid stores offer much more variety than physical stores. In person, you get what you see, or you go home empty-handed. Online you can browse through thousands of products until you find exactly what you need—and all from the comfort of your own home!

Delta 8 in New Jersey

While delta 8 has been legal in New Jersey since 2018, the Garden State recently saw the legalization of recreational cannabis. In 2020, Governor Murphy signed the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act into law, legalizing and regulating marijuana use and possession for adults 21 years and older, as well as decriminalizing marijuana and hashish possession. Early in 2021, the Governor also signed S-3454, which clarified marijuana use and possession was only allowed for individuals older than 21 years old, and that anybody younger than that would still get penalized for using or possessing cannabis.

Licensed recreational cannabis dispensaries began opening in the Garden State in 2022. Cannabis legalization couldn’t have come soon enough for residents of New Jersey. NJ police arrested over almost 25,000 people for low-level cannabis possession in 2013 and 34,500 in 2017, which was a higher number than any other US state at the time. With legalization, these numbers have permanently plummeted. That said, some regulations still apply to marijuana, such as limits on possession and restrictions on where it can be smoked.

Thousands line up for first day of recreational marijuana sales in New Jersey

Things to Consider When Buying Delta 8 in New Jersey

As previously mentioned, delta 8 is not regulated by the FDA, so manufacturers and retailers are responsible for setting their own standards for purity and safety. This makes it your responsibility as a consumer to find a trustworthy and reliable retailer that you know takes your health and safety seriously. Here are a few things to look out for when buying delta 8 in person or online.

The first and most important thing when it comes to delta 8 is lab testing. Remember, these products are going in your body and interacting with your bodily systems, so knowing exactly what is—and isn’t—in them is something you should take seriously. Third-party lab testing offers an objective breakdown of your product’s potency and purity. Sure, some delta 8 products claim they’ve been tested on their packages. But how can you be sure? Analyzing a third-party lab test also allows you to check for impurities or contaminants, so you want to make sure that your products haven’t only been tested, but that those tests are available to you as a consumer as well.

Another crucial thing to remember when it comes to cannabinoids like delta 8 is to always, absolutely always, avoid bleach. Some manufacturers will bleach their products to make them appear “cleaner,” appealing to consumers on the assumption that these products are safer and of higher quality. In reality, these products are only more dangerous. A high-quality delta 8 distillate is never fully clear. It can be a pinkish amber, but never transparent. If you see a cart with no color, it’s a sign to look for product somewhere else.

Lastly, choosing the right kind of hemp for your product is also important. Sure, all delta 8 products need to be made from hemp to be considered legal, but that’s not all there is to the type of plant that makes your products. The hemp plant is exceptionally absorbent, meaning it will take in either nutrients or contaminants from its environment depending on how it’s grown. It’s best to opt for organically grown, non-GMO hemp without herbicides or pesticides because these contaminants could end up in your product.

New Jersey’s Cannabis Market Grows with Delta 8 & Medical Marijuana

New Jersey seems to be pretty keen on cannabis of all types. Delta 8 and recreational marijuana are both legal in the state for adult use, so it should come to no surprise that the state also has an extensive medical cannabis program that is actually much older than both, recreational cannabis measures in the state. But what does the introduction of delta 8 and recreational marijuana mean for New Jersey’s medical cannabis market?

Delta 8 New Jersey Facts & Is Delta 8 Legal in New Jersey?

New Jersey Medical Cannabis Laws

In 2010, then-Governor Jon Corzine signed S. 119, or the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA), on his last day in office. The act permitted the use of medical cannabis for those aged 21 and over. It was on this day that New Jersey became the 14th state to legalize medical marijuana.

Governor Christ Christie, however, took office the next day, and took a number of actions to stall the program. He imposed restrictions and limitations on the program, which led to significant delays, and led New Jersey to be described as having some of the toughest medical marijuana regulations among states where the practice is legal.

Originally, CUMMA called for the medical marijuana program to begin six months after its passage, but the state’s medical marijuana patient registry didn’t open until August 2012, and the first Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) didn’t begin providing cannabis to patients until December of that year—over two years after medical marijuana became legal.

Now, adults over the age of 18 can purchase medical cannabis at any licensed ATC in the Garden State, but due to strict regulation, only six ATCs are allowed to operate at the same time.

In 2019, almost a full decade after initial legalization of medical marijuana in New Jersey, Governor Murphy signed A. 20, also known as Jake’s Law, which expanded the program following Christie’s attempts to reduce its reach. The bill allowed for cannabis delivery service, an increase in cannabis possession limits, and overall better access to cannabis.

Current medical cannabis possession limits are as follows:

  • 1 ounce (28 grams) of cannabis
  • Possession of 3 ounces (85 grams) in a 30-day period
  • Terminally ill patients have no monthly possession limits
  • Growing and cultivating cannabis for personal use, even if medicinal, is prohibited

In order to qualify for the program, you need to meet certain requirements. First, you must “maintain a bona fide relationship with a health care provider who is registered with the program,” which is defined as “a relationship in which the health care practitioner has ongoing responsibility for the assessment, care, and treatment of a patient’s qualifying medical conditions.”  This includes instances where:

  • The relationship between the practitioner and patient must have existed for at least one year; or
  • The health care provider has assessed the patient for the debilitating medical condition on at least four visits; or
  • The health care provider becomes responsible for providing care of the patient’s qualifying condition after conducting a comprehensive medical history and physical examination

The next requirement to meet is being a New Jersey resident that has been diagnosed with a qualifying condition by a New Jersey health care practitioner registered with the New Jersey Medicinal Cannabis Program. These include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Glaucoma
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Chron’s disease
  • Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizure disorder, including epilepsy
  • Terminal illness with prognosis of less than 12 months left to live
  • Tourette syndrome

So, to get a medical cannabis card in New Jersey, you need to book an appointment with a registered health care provider, get diagnosed with a qualifying condition, obtain the doctor’s recommendation form for medical marijuana, and apply to the state. In order to apply, you will need to prove you are a resident of the state of New Jersey. Once approved, you will need to pay a $50 fee and submit your application. The state will mail your card, and once you have that, you can begin purchasing medical cannabis from any state-approved dispensary! Renewal takes place every two years, meaning you will need to see your licensed physician again before being able to renew your medical cannabis card.

New Jersey Medical Cannabis vs. Delta 8

New Jersey’s medical cannabis program is certainly compassionate and compared to more restrictive states, somewhat impressive. That said, not everyone qualifies for a medical cannabis card in New Jersey, and we know the plant has been known to treat a plethora of ailments that didn’t make it on the state’s list of qualifying conditions.

This is where delta 8, and in New Jersey’s case, recreational marijuana, come in. Medical and recreational cannabis are just different in their legal classification, but they are the same substance. This means that adults in New Jersey who could benefit from medical cannabis but don’t qualify for the program can still reap its benefits through recreational dispensaries. Delta 8, a milder analog of delta 9 (AKA, THC), is also available for residents of New Jersey. For those looking for relief but weary of marijuana’s high intensity, delta 8 could be a viable alternative due to its reduced potency.

Delta 8 New Jersey Facts & Is Delta 8 Legal in New Jersey?

Where to Find Delta 8 in New Jersey

While physical stores are a fantastic way to buy delta 8, especially in a pinch, we always recommend shopping online for reasons of transparency, safety, and variety. That said, if you’re looking to score some sweet D8 locally, here are a few places worth checking out!

F0g Nation – Somerville – 4.8 Stars

F0g nation knows how to treat its customers—and it definitely shows in their customer reviews! While some call it the “best smoke shop in the area,” others say, “there’s just no other shop like this!” Its knowledgeable owner, friendly staff, and product variety seems unbeatable in the eyes of the store’s customers. “I went by the reviews, and they were absolutely correct!” says one of their latest.

Elite Wellness – Red Bank – 4.4 Stars

Elite Wellness has had a loyal client base for years. They offer high-quality product and a friendly and helpful staff that is happy and willing to help customers find what they need through conversation, active listening, and recommendations. “Stop in the next time you’re in Red Bank!” says one of their customers, “I wouldn’t sleep on this spot!”

Holy Smokes – Elizabeth – 4.8 Stars

With a welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel like family, Holy Smokes isn’t just your average smoke shop. The “friendliest staff” ever can help you find exactly what you’re looking for with a smile on their face, and the competitive low prices don’t hurt either!

Are Other Psychoactive Cannabinoids Legal in New Jersey?

With the hemp market booming, cannabinoid options for consumers are expanding as well. Dozens of cannabinoids, all of which seem to be federally legal under the same conditions as delta 8, have taken flight and become popularized among users. In New Jersey, other psychoactive cannabinoids, including delta 10 and HHC, are legal to use, possess, purchase, sell, distribute, and produce as long as they are made from hemp and do not exceed 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis.

Is Delta 8 Legal in New Jersey: Final Thoughts

So, is delta 8 legal in New Jersey? Absolutely! Delta 8, along with other hemp-derived cannabinoids, is legal in the Garden State. New Jersey also allows its residents to participate in its medical cannabis program as well as to purchase and use recreational marijuana.

All in all, New Jersey seems to have a friendly attitude towards all types of cannabis, which means that whether you need cannabis to soothe an ailment, or simply want to get a little high, the state of New Jersey provides its residents with many different cannabis options. Happy buzzing!