Unlawful Marijuana Sales in New Jersey

Although marijuana is illegal in many locations, New Jersey permits the use of marijuana under specific circumstances. Accordingly, New Jersey also allows the sale of marijuana in certain situations. Business owners and others who legally sell marijuana, or wish to do so, may benefit from understanding all relevant state marijuana laws.

One key issue to understand that a seasoned criminal attorney could be particularly helpful clarifying is what constitutes an unlawful marijuana sale in New Jersey. In many situations, a qualified drug lawyer could advise businesses on unlawful marijuana sales in New Jersey and any other issues that may impact their business.

Establishing an Alternative Treatment Center in New Jersey

Generally, all sales of marijuana are unlawful in New Jersey, with the exception of authorized sales of medical marijuana. All medical marijuana must be sold through established alternative treatment centers, according to New Jersey Revised Statutes §24:6I-7. Currently, six of these centers are located throughout New Jersey.

To sell medical marijuana legally, an individual or business entity must apply for a permit from the state health department to establish an alternative treatment center, according to N.J.R.S. §24:6I-7. Each applicant must usually undergo a criminal background check and be fingerprinted. Any individual applying to operate an alternative treatment center must provide written consent for the background check, as per N.J.R.S. §24:6I-7.

Background Checks

Generally, if the requisite background check reveals that an applicant was convicted of any crime involving controlled substances in New Jersey or any other state, they would not be eligible to sell medical marijuana in the state. If the applicant’s background check clears and the application is approved, the health department would issue a permit to operate an alternative treatment center. Under N.J.R.S. §24:6I-7, such approvals must be issued within 60 days of the application.

Operating an Alternative Treatment Center

Under N.J.R.S. §24:6I-7, employees of alternative treatment centers must also submit to background checks to ensure that they have not been convicted of any crime involving controlled substances. Therefore, to avoid potentially unlawful marijuana sales, owners and operators of alternative treatment centers should generally ensure that their employees are properly vetted before hiring them.

It is possible, however, for the health department to conditionally approve potential employees for a period of up to three months, according to N.J.R.S. §24:6I-7. To qualify, a prospective employee must sign a sworn statement stipulating that they have never been convicted of any crime involving controlled substances.

Additionally, even if a potential employee has had such a conviction, they may still be eligible to work at an alternative treatment center if they demonstrate “clear and convincing evidence of rehabilitation,” according to N.J.R.S. §24:6I-7. Such evidence may include any of the following:

           
  • Good conduct in the community
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  • Completion of substance abuse counseling or treatment
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  • Completion of additional schooling or vocational training
Knowing About Unlawful Marijuana Sales May Be Critical for a New Jersey Business

Those who own or operate a marijuana-related business often face many legal challenges and difficulties. They typically must deal with changing regulations and need to stay informed in order to stay open for business.

One prominent issue such business owners may face is the distinction between a legal and unlawful marijuana sales in New Jersey. Knowing what constitutes an unlawful marijuana sale in New Jersey may be key to avoid fines or prosecution. Those who need additional help or assistance on understanding New Jersey marijuana laws may benefit from contacting a New Jersey drug lawyer.

A qualified attorney could advise businesses on their rights and obligations under current laws. They may also be able to help businesses set up a plan to ensure none of their sales are unlawful. To get legal assistance with your marijuana-related business in New Jersey, call a dedicated local marijuana lawyer today.