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Beware New Jerseyans Bearing Gifts

The state’s top law enforcement official is attempting to shut down companies running “free” marijuana gift schemes.

Photo via Pixabay

New Jersey’s attorney general is cracking down on crafty companies taking advantage of a loophole in the state’s recreational weed law. 

A provision in New Jersey’s adult-use law allows marijuana to be gifted to those 21 and older. Some companies in the Garden State have drawn the ire of law enforcement by offering “free” pot products with the purchase of ordinary food and snacks at exorbitant prices.

For example, one company’s website lists a bag containing nuts, rice crisps, an almond bar and water for $165. Of course, the purchase comes with a “free gift” selected from a list of pot products.

While New Jersey voters approved a legal Cannabis industry in November 2020 and Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation establishing the industry earlier this year, the state has yet to implement retail sales of recreational pot. In fact, lawmakers have yet to create licensing regulations for retail shops.

While there is clearly demand for legal Cannabis, New Jersey has yet to offer the supply. That situation will lead to schemes like free marijuana with the purchase of a $100 t-shirt.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has sent cease-and-desist letters to four companies his office is investigating for the pot gifting scheme.

AG Grewal explained, “Today we’re making it clear that we will not permit these entities to undermine the regulated Cannabis marketplace the Legislature created or to compete unfairly with properly licensed Cannabis businesses.”

Of course, he didn’t mention that, at the moment, there are no properly licensed Cannabis businesses in New Jersey.

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