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New Jersey Regulators Seek Input On Expanding Marijuana Edibles To Include Infused Drinks, Baked Goods And More



New Jersey marijuana regulators are accepting public comments on proposed rules to expand the types of edible cannabis products that could be sold at licensed shops, including beverages, chocolates, baked goods and jams.

As it stands, the state’s legalization law restricts cannabis edibles to non-perishable products such as lozenges, pills and gummies—a limited variety compared to other adult-use states.

Now, months after regulators already waived certain requirements to authorize the sale of additional marijuana edible types, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC) has opened a 60-day public comment period on proposed rules to codify an expanded list of infused products that medical and recreational shops could offer.

“We believe that cannabis edibles have the potential to provide an alternative and convenient method for adults to access cannabis, and the proposed regulations aim to establish clear guidelines for their responsible production, labeling, and sale,” NJ-CRC Executive Director Jeff Brown said in a press release last week.

Under the proposal, the current rules would be amended to allow the sale of infused single serving beverages containing up to five milligrams of “active THC,” as well as “shelf stable food” including “chocolates, gummies, baked goods, butters, jams, and jellies.”

Workers who manufacture the edibles would need to undergo additional food safety training on the “causes and prevention of food-borne illnesses.”

NJ-CRC has also proposed allowing ingestible products in the shape of a cannabis leaf to be sold. They still could not resemble “realistic or fictional human, animal, or fruit, or part thereof, including artistic, caricature, or cartoon renderings.”

“The rules are part of a set of policies adopted by the NJ-CRC in September aimed at expanding product offerings in the New Jersey cannabis market,” regulators said. “Key components of the proposed edible rules will enhance variety, safety, and quality of edible products.”

The public, stakeholders and experts are being encouraged to submit feedback on the regulations by the December 15 deadline.

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The notice about the public comment period on cannabis edible offerings expansion comes as regulators separately announced a new campaign to promote public health and safety around the state’s legalization law—an effort that, in part, will involve encouraging adults to use cannabis delivery services to mitigate the risk of impaired driving.

Applications for delivery service licenses, as well as other license types like wholesales, opened up last month. Regulators are starting by prioritizing people who have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition enforcement.

Meanwhile, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced earlier this month that it will be awarding $12 million in grant money to 48 licensed cannabis operators to help them start and expand their businesses. It’s part of the state’s effort to remove barriers to entry to the legal industry, especially among people from communities disproportionately harmed by the drug war.

Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin (D) separately announced that the state is making $5.5 million available, funded by marijuana tax revenue, to support a hospital-based violence intervention grants program.

As of last month, state regulators began accepting public comments on a proposal that would create a new permit to allow “clinically focused” dispensaries to enter into partnerships with research institutions to carry out cannabis studies using products that they grow or sell to patients.

Separately, there have been some questions about the current supply of cannabis in the state as consumers face high prices, which have been criticized by regulators. It’s possible that the forthcoming delivery service, wholesaler and distributor licensing expansion could help address the issue.

As the state works to build on its legalization law, Jersey City has been pushing back against a policy permitting police officers to use cannabis off duty, filing a lawsuit against the rule that the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police called “an unfortunate waste of taxpayer dollars” in a statement last week.

Rhode Island Cannabis Commission Chair Downplays Errors In State’s Monthly Marijuana Sales Data

Photo courtesy of Pexels/Kindel Media.

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