Is nj green direct legal

Is nj green direct legal DEFAULT

New Jersey’s top law enforcement official has accused four local companies of illegally offering free cannabis “gifts” alongside orders of cookies, chips and other products.

Cease-and-desist letters sent Tuesday to NJ Green Direct, Sky High Munchies, Slumped Kitchen and West Winds Wellness said each was under investigation for potentially misrepresenting their sales.

While marijuana is generally legal in New Jersey, the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission is still figuring out the rules for how it can be sold and businesses have not yet been licensed.

“Instead of waiting for those regulations to be established, some vendors have decided to move forward on their own, in ways that the law does not allow,” state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement.

The commission’s chairperson, Dianna Houenou, said the companies were “trying to preempt the rules” which could “jeopardize public health and undermine confidence in the forthcoming regulated cannabis industry.”

Messages left with each business were not immediately returned, but the head of NJ Green Direct previously said the entry points were too high to get a license.

“The government really made it impossible for the little guy,” Sam Gindi told NJ Advance Media earlier this year.

Experts have previously questioned the legality of openly pairing “free” marijuana with other exorbitantly priced goods.

On Sky High Munchies’ website for example, residents can buy a small bag with nuts, rice crisps, fig bars, an almond bar and water — for $

Before you add that item to your cart, you choose a “free gift” from a cannabis menu.

“You have to give some vendors an A for effort,” said Edmund DeVeaux, president of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association. “It does force us to come to terms with the fact that we should have done this a long time ago and that we really do have to focus on making sure that we do get a responsible, sustainable, diverse industry in place.”

Violating the state’s Consumer Fraud Act can trigger tens of thousands of dollars in fines, according to Grewal’s office.

State officials also released their final agreement with Anthony Anzalone, a former medical doctor in New Jersey accused of authorizing medical marijuana for patients he’d never examined.

Anzalone agreed to permanently stop practicing medicine in the state, according to a Final Consent Order signed in April. His license expired two years ago and is listed as “suspended” on the State Board of Medical Examiners’ website.

When reached by phone, Anzalone disputed that he’d practiced irresponsibility and said he’d helped many people.

Anthony Anzalone suspended

NJ Advance Media staff writers Jelani Gibson and Amanda Hoover contributed to this report.

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Sours: https://www.nj.com/business//06/stop-offering-free-weed-with-cookies-nj-attorney-general-tellscompanies.html

Special Delivery

Special Delivery

 When New Jersey residents overwhelmingly voted in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana for adult use last November, there was great excitement across the board. Lawmakers touted the economic boost the industry would provide our cash-strapped state as well as the societal benefits of decriminalization. That’s not to mention those midnight tokers who were thrilled that they’d be able to openly enjoy cannabis without fear of retribution. 

But from the onset, it was evident that it would take time for the industry to take shape and become regulated. While Gov. Phil Murphy formed the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) in late , experts suggested that it would be many months, possibly a year, before we saw dispensaries or grow houses setting up shop in the Garden State. In fact, it wasn’t until late August that the commission adopted the initial rules that opened up the application process for business licenses. The rules are valid for one year, but at press time the CRC had not yet set a date to begin accepting licensing applications. 

The lengthy wait, along with the expected exorbitant cost of obtaining a license, has led some enterprising folks to take matters into their own hands. Chances are if you’ve driven around South Jersey of late, you’ve seen everything from highly visible digital billboards along the highway to yard signs planted adjacent to busy intersections advertising discreet marijuana delivery services. 

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Several of these companies have popped up in recent months, selling snack packages, stickers or other items at inflated prices and in turn offering “free” marijuana gifts in the form of flower, edibles and concentrates along with the purchase. A customer places an order and based on the amount of money spent, they receive a designated amount of marijuana as a bonus. Think paying $ for some cookies, chips and water and receiving an ounce of cannabis in return. 

 

It’s a business model—or loophole, depending on how you look at it—that has previously popped up in Boston and Washington, D.C. A few months back, it caught the attention of then-New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, who sent a cease-and-desist letter to several companies that were offering the high-priced snacks as a guise and threatening fines as high as $20, for subsequent violations. 

 

One of those companies was Slumped Kitchen, a delivery service that operates statewide and launched this past January. Undeterred by the letter from the state, co-owner Todd Moeller simply pivoted his business model from offering snacks to accepting “donations.” Similarly, the higher the donation, the more marijuana may be gifted to you. 

 

Moeller says he’s been a marijuana enthusiast for many years and since the day the constitutional amendment passed on the ballot, he knew he wanted to get involved in the industry. But cutting through the red tape has proven to be difficult and the cost of the license likely prohibitive. 

“In New Jersey, we are already 10 steps behind these huge corporate dispensaries. They have the [financial] backing and the politicians behind them. That’s great, I give them all the credit. But what do you expect young entrepreneurs to do?” he says. “I want to be recognized and operate completely open and freely. We have a great attorney, a great cannabis CPA firm to get our taxes in order; we are not trying to skate by, I want a license.”

To further show a sense of goodwill, since switching to the new model, Slumped Kitchen introduced a charity component to the business where each month a portion of their proceeds will be handed out to an organization. Its first donation of $23, went to Just Believe Incorporated, a Toms River nonprofit that works with the homeless and disenfranchised in Ocean County.

Another statewide operation that was served a cease-and-desist letter, NJ Green Direct, also launched in January and founder Sam Gindi echoes Moeller’s complaints about the licensing process and thus he anticipated running into legal issues. 

“We knew the state would want their money and already promised certain donors the licenses,” Gindi says. “We know the licensing process is not open to the public, and many out-of-state people with big money are already the first on the commission’s list for licenses.

Despite the hurdles faced, the companies we spoke to appear to be thriving. And don’t think it’s just college kids looking to score a bag. Gindi says roughly 75% of his customer base is over the age of Likewise, Moeller says his customers range in age, but that he certainly has his fair share of more mature customers. 

“My mother lives in a retirement home and we’ve delivered to [residents] at her home 20 or 30 times,” he says. 

 Marc Whitman* is a Washington Township resident who has used a delivery service he found on Instagram called Dank Donations. To date, he’s used the service three times and says the experience has been fairly smooth. 

“You make a ‘donation’ and choose your gift and then set up a delivery window, usually within 24 hours, in some cases even later that day. I put the cash in my mailbox and they replace it with my gift bag—the bag is full of random stuff like a candle, an air freshener, rolling papers, a lighter, etc.,” he says. 

While the majority of these services utilize cash payments, Whitman says he would prefer using an electronic payment system. 

Another South Jersey resident, Robert Birch*, has used several different services for delivery. “[My experience] has honestly been pretty great,” he says. “Of the dozen or so times I’ve ordered, I’ve only been slightly disappointed in the overall quality of the flower one time.”

That brings into question where exactly the marijuana being gifted is coming from. While a legal dispensary would have information on the producer and content of their product, consumers utilizing the delivery services are forced to take a leap of faith, not unlike purchasing weed from a dealer on the black market.

“There is always a little concern when you aren’t personally buying directly from a cultivator, says Birch. “But, a good chunk of us started out buying weed from some dude out of his locker in high school. You were lucky to know if it was sativa vs. indica, let alone strain and cultivar.”

Like Birch, Whitman turned to online communities to find out more about the services available in New Jersey. “There’s a Reddit group where people talk about their experience and review the vendors. That’s all I really had to go by, so I guess I got kind of lucky,” he says. 

 

Because much of how they operate remains shrouded in secrecy, the companies we spoke with would not divulge their suppliers. Moeller simply offered that once an order is placed, the product is secured through a partner and packaged for delivery. 

 

Gindi also respectfully declined to share his supply chain, but notes “we have had excellent responses from customers who appreciate our very good organic product, fast service and transparency. We can ensure that it is all top quality.”

 

Now that the CRC has begun to move things forward, the future of these delivery services is uncertain. Will folks still want to patronize them if they can instead walk into a brick-and-mortar location and leave with the product immediately and not have to wait hours for delivery? 

“I’d probably rather go to a dispensary,” admits Whitman.

Birch has mixed feelings. “I’ve done the dispensary thing in Las Vegas, California and Colorado. There are good ones and bad ones. … I’ll probably stick to the gifting services for the foreseeable future. In fact, I’ve already made the decision to not renew my medical recommendation this year as the extreme costs don’t justify the limited benefit the program grants and the dispensary product just doesn’t stack up with what is available from the gifting vendors.”

Moeller says his company’s proprietary delivery system and app are likely the future of his business once dispensaries start to open their doors. Rather than try and compete, he’d like them to sign up to use his service, not unlike how restaurants work with Uber Eats or DoorDash. 

“We can easily onboard any brick-and-mortar or company that wants to offer their products on our platform. We want to get the products that the customers want into their hands rapidly, whether it’s coming from us or not,” says Moeller. “We did this all on our own, we didn’t get any outside funding or any loans. We are now in a position to bring in investors and experts in the field to help grow this business to provide a much better service to the customers.”

 

Gindi says his company would not have been able to enter into this industry if it stuck to the regulated market because of its lack of big financial backers. 

 “It is unfair to the little guy who is denied the opportunity. … We have experienced many issues due to not being able to get a license and understand our business may not last very long at all once corporate dispensaries start opening and the state starts cracking down harder. The future remains to be seen,” Gindi says. 

No matter what happens, Moeller is sure of one thing. “The demand for marijuana is always going to outweigh the supply.”

 

*Names have been changed for confidentiality

 

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NJ companies charging high prices for snacks that come with weed &#;gifts&#;: AG

Several New Jersey businesses are killing the state’s buzz over legalized weed by offering unlicensed cannabis products — and falsely claiming them free “gifts,” officials said.

Four companies are charging inflated prices for munchies like cookies that are packed with supposedly free marijuana or other gifts, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced Tuesday.

But the high prices show weed is central to the sales and not really a gift at all, said cease-and desist letters to Sky High Munchies, Slumped Kitchen, NJGreenDirect.com and West Winds Wellness on Tuesday.

Vendors won’t be allowed to “misrepresent what they’re selling,” said Kaitlin Caruso, acting director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, who signed the letters. The companies could face fines if they’re found to have violated the Consumer Fraud Act, which protects consumers from deceptive practices.

“Under our consumer protection laws, vendors are subject to fines and penalties for making false or misleading statements about what they’re selling,” Caruso said in a statement.

“We have warned these companies about our concerns, and to stop conduct that could violate our laws.”

In February, the Garden State legalized cannabis use and possession for adults over 21 years old. But a Cannibis Regulatory Commission has yet to issue any licenses — or even outlined rules for issuing the permits, the attorney general said.

“Instead of waiting for those regulations to be established, some vendors have decided to move forward on their own, in ways that the law does not allow,” Grewal said.

“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.”

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal speaks during a press briefing in Bridgeton, N.J. on Monday, May 24, , following a mass shooting Saturday in Fairfield Township

The four companies didn’t respond to inquiries from NJ.com but NJ Green Direct head Sam Gindi previously told NJ.com “the entry points” were too high to get a license.

“The government really made it impossible for the little guy,” Gindi reportedly said.

In Caruso’s letters, she offered several examples of what appeared to be large price tags for basic snacks and items for sale.

“The ‘snack packs’ and ‘munchie packs’ offered for sale on your website offer little description of the product for sale aside from generic pictures of assorted, commercial-brand snack items,&#; Caruso wrote to Slumped Kitchen.

&#;Prices for these unspecified snacks begin at $&#;

Prices cookies and brownies at NJ Green Direct started at $, she wrote.

“The amount of money spent by the consumer dictates the eligible gift (i.e., ‘28G Free with $ cookie purchase’),” she said

Each violation of the act could cost the businesses $10, for the first violation and $20, for any additional violations, according to the AG&#;s statement.

Sours: https://nypost.com//06/15/nj-companies-charge-high-prices-for-snacks-with-weed-gifts-ag/
Finalizing the rules for NJ’s legal marijuana industry

NJ legalized weed but left out black market pot dealers. Now, they want in.


TRENTON — This isn’t legal.

Recreational marijuana, as of last week, is legal in New Jersey, but what Ed Forchion is pulling off at his restaurant on East State Street — or, rather, down the alley and behind the restaurant — is something entirely different. 

On a recent day, a dozen or more people were crammed into a small hallway behind NJ Weedman’s Joint, the restaurant bearing the moniker he's worn as a legal weed advocate the last 20 years. Forchion's customers hunched over to peer into a glass case filled with individual jars of marijuana flower.

On the shelves behind the displays were small, sealed, pre-weighed bags — $40 to $60 for a one-eighth ounce of marijuana or three of any strain for $ Whole ounces of pot went for $ to $, anywhere from $50 to $ less than what the state's licensed medical marijuana dispensaries are charging.

At the end of the hallway two dealers sat at tables with the kind of plastic containers normally used to store leftovers but adapted to peddle pot as people walked into the warm, unmistakably skunk-smelling inside or back outside into the cold.

This is the black market for marijuana, thriving more than ever — even after New Jersey became the 13th state to legalize weed for adult use. And the black market, still, isn't legal — but Forchion isn't going anywhere.

He doesn’t have a license to sell weed, and he doesn’t intend to put together the capital, investors, fees, or the hundred-page application to get one. By his thinking, the prison time he's served for marijuana offenses — he also spent over a year in the Mercer County Correction Center awaiting trial on charges that were eventually dropped — should qualify him alone.

"If you give me my 1, days back in jail, I’ll pay for a license — or if you want to just give me a license, so be it,” Forchion said.  "But I can’t jump through those hoops, those corporate obstacles. I can’t make it. 

"I can sell weed all day. I’ve been selling weed for 30 years. That’s not the problem."

The problem, as Forchion sees it, is this: Now that marijuana is legal in New Jersey, the state will begin the likely year-long process of awarding licenses for dispensaries, where anyone over 21 years old will be able to walk in and buy legal weed. 

But talk to any leader in the cannabis industry about what it takes to get a license to sell marijuana, and they'll mention how cutthroat the process is. Licenses are referred to as "golden tickets," as if their holders are guaranteed success — but only if they have the hundreds of thousands in capital necessary even to be considered.

And if the black marketeers are left to the side? They'll likely just keep doing what they've always been doing: Selling weed. 

"The black market will only go away if you include us," Forchion said. "You're not going to get rid of the black market by excluding the black market." 

Jiles Ship, president of the New Jersey chapter of the National Organization for Black Law Enforcement Executives, shared that view.

"It's not because people don't have the ability to run a business. It's because they're not given the opportunity," Ship said.  "When you take those opportunities from people, they still have to make a living.  They still have to feed their families. That's what drives the black market." 

He added: "Unless you provide them opportunities to exist and make money in a legitimate way, you're always going to have the black market." 

Forchion sees a different downside when thinking about what legal weed looks like without NJ Weedman: "These every day, citizen-type dispensaries, there’s flavor to it. There’s family.

"You go to the corporate places (in states where such legal dispensaries are up and running), you can’t touch the weed," Forchion said. "You can’t smoke the weed. There’s no music playing. There’s nothing.

"This is what should be going on in every neighborhood. There should be little guys."

Story continues below gallery.

'Stop kicking me'

Dianna Houenou, appointed chair of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission, acknowledged the skepticism voiced by Forchion and others who believe they'll be left out. 

"People expect to be held back because of their prior entanglement in the criminal justice system," she said. "That's why we have to keep pushing reforms, not just in the cannabis context or even in criminal justice.

"We just have to look at people in a different way." 

One potential solution could be the "microbusiness" licenses the CRC will issue, Houenou said. Those licenses are designed for entrepreneurs who want only to run a small operation or need the room and experience to grow into a full-fledged cannabis business.

Microbusinesses, which come with limits on total employees and how much marijuana is sold or handled, will make up 10% of all licenses issued, according to the laws. 

But even microbusiness licenses seem far-fetched for many of the people involved in the black market.

"It’s impossible. They talk about social equity, but it’s just so bare-faced how they’ve been kicking us this whole time and they’re still kicking us," said David, 31, selling marijuana by the door of NJ Weedman's Joint.

The comments of David and other dealers went viral when the USA TODAY NETWORK in March visited a black market "pop up" event, where a handful of pot dealers converted an otherwise legal business into a black market marijuana bazaar – a literal smoke-filled room in the Trenton suburbs — for one night only.

"People want legalization until they get here and see what the black market has to offer," David said at the time. "They see that what we have is cheaper than legalized weed, that it’s much better. You can change their mind."

READ THE FULL REPORT: I spent a night in the NJ marijuana black market — and business is booming.

Forchion has been openly advertising the marijuana sold out of NJ Weedman’s Joint – across the street from Trenton City Hall. And in recent weeks, even more black market pot dealers have followed suit, calling him for advice on how to open actual storefronts instead of simply relying on pop-up sales events.

"People are coming to me from all over the state, like I'm the example," Forchion said. "This is my business model, and it's working. Nobody's bothering me. And that's the model a lot of these little places are doing." 

David, on the other hand, is dipping his toes into the cannabis industry — the legal one — but not in New Jersey.

In Oregon, he’s been networking with cannabis companies, using his social media presence to market their products in exchange for an introduction or an open door to other contacts. He believes he'll be able to get a commercial grower's license with $50, and a few investors. 

"They introduce me to other people in the industry, give me different perspectives on where I’d like to invest my money," David said. "It's a cakewalk." 

Now, he has his eyes on Oklahoma, which has a booming medical marijuana market that topped $ million in revenue in , according to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. (New Jersey’s medical marijuana dispensaries had just $53 million in revenue in , according to the Department of Health.)

David thinks Oklahoma will legalize weed sooner rather than later but doesn’t want to wait: A license to grow medical marijuana there commercially costs $2, In New Jersey, the request for applications for dispensaries — the Department of Health is yet to issue a grower-specific permit — cost $2, just to apply, even if the application was rejected.

Getting such a license in New Jersey is out of the question, David said. While back in Trenton, he's more than happy to just peddle marijuana on the black market.

"I’m an activist. I’m an entrepreneur. I pay taxes," David said. "It’s at the point now where they need to stop kicking me."

Story continues below the gallery.

Houenou recognized the strains that funding could have on entrepreneurs like David: "We look at other legal jurisdictions and it can be really damn expensive, and there are a lot of communities that historically had not had access to traditional lending markets." 

The state's five cannabis commissioners haven't even met each other yet, let alone drafted the requirements for license applications.

But the industry has caught up to the issue, she sad, noting how some investment groups specifically seek out Black entrepreneurs: "People area recognizing this as a need, how we need better ways to support aspiring entrepreneurs — whether it’s ini the cannabis context or not.”

Ship, from the Black law enforcement executives' group, thinks people like David will inevitably become part of the legal industry in New Jersey — but it won't happen quickly.

Instead, they'll be transitioned in as people become more familiar with marijuana as a legal substance — the same way alcohol transitioned from Prohibition-era speakeasies to liquor stores on every corner, and from basement home breweries to multimillion-dollar craft breweries. 

"But that's not going to happen overnight," he said. "And if people don't get a fair opportunity in this business, if there aren't opportunities for diverse groups of people – specifically the African American community – you’re not going to see a significant impact on that reduction in the black market."

Wink wink, nudge nudge

Murphy finally signed into law last week a three-bill package that legalized the taxation, sale and purchase of marijuana and decriminalized the use and possession of up to 6 oz.

The only problem? Unless you have a medical marijuana card, there’s nowhere to actually purchase weed — at least, legally.

It could be over a year before recreational dispensaries actually open in the Garden State, as the Cannabis Regulatory Commission, has yet to meet let alone develop guidelines, begin accepting applications or issue licenses for dispensaries. 

But the black market isn’t waiting for the state to get its act together.

"I never sold marijuana in my life before January 1 — and, obviously, I’m still not," said Sam Gindi, choosing his words carefully while describing his baked goods delivery service, NJ Green Direct.

"We're just selling regular cookies; we're not selling anything else. Any cannabis the drivers give away, that’s their own."

That cannabis, however, is advertised on a website. For $55 to $, an NJ Green Direct driver — they're independent contractors, Gindi said — will deliver a specified number of fresh-baked cookies or other baked goods to your front door.

They're not laced with marijuana, they're just really good cookies that happen to cost about 14 to 85 times the price of a pack of Oreos.

As a "gift", the driver may throw in anywhere from one-eighth ounce to an ounce of high-quality marijuana, with strains like Black Diamond, Pablo Mint and Wedding Cake advertised on the company’s website. 

But nothing is guaranteed, according to the company: "They may possibly be given as a free gift at the drivers’ discretion," its website states. 

NJ Green Direct is taking advantage of a loophole in the marijuana legalization laws that allow anyone to "transfer without remuneration" up to 1 ounce of weed, though the law specifically states it must be for "non-promotional, non-business purposes."

You can invite a friend over for an ounce of pot, the same way you can invite a friend over for a beer. And, the thinking goes, if restaurants offer diners a breath mint on their way out, why can't NJ Green Direct drivers give out pot? 

This wink-wink, nudge-nudge marijuana business model has become popular in Washington, D.C., where marijuana is legal to grow, possess and use, but illegal to sell — there are no dispensaries.

But Gindi, 26, doesn’t know what’s next.

His business thrived during the six-week period between Jan. 1 and Feb. 22, when Gindi believed, so he says, that the voter-backed constitutional amendment to legalize weed took effect, despite Murphy's not signing the regulations into law. 

But like others already staking their claim in the cannabis industry, the West Long Branch resident doesn’t know if he’ll ever be able to break his way into getting a license, whether it’s to deliver marijuana from licensed dispensaries to its customers or open his own retail operation himself.

"Honestly, I’d love to go legit, to be official and not deal with any issues," he said. "But there’s a $1 million barrier to entry. I can’t afford anywhere near that. And if they want to keep it like that, there are going to be people like me who are going to keep popping up.

"There’s going to be a huge gray market for people who can’t get in."

Story continues below gallery.

'They know I'm right'

From November through January, there were over 6, arrests for possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana in New Jersey, despite state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal's calling for officers to practice “broad discretion” when enforcing marijuana laws after the ballot question passed.

On Feb. 11, Forchion became one of those arrested. 

Police in Wanaque, Passaic County, stopped Forchion while driving his "PotTrooper," a Chevy Suburban converted to look like a New Jersey State Police SUV, citing an illegal green light shining on the license plate. 

Police smelled marijuana in the car and searched, finding an ounce of pot and less than 5 grams of hashish, Forchion said. Forchion and a passenger were charged with possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, intent to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to distribute marijuana — confiscating $9, from the vehicle, as well.

Forchion is confident he'll be acquitted if the charges aren't dismissed outright. Under the bills signed into law last week, not only would the possession of that much marijuana be legal but the search itself would have been prohibited. 

“I want to be that precedent case that stops smell searches for weed in New Jersey,” he said.

It's been a busy start to for Forchion. In January, Murphy filed a motion to dismiss the federal lawsuit Forchion filed against him. It argued that the "deceptive" ballot question approved by voters legalizing marijuana only allowed a "Caucasian cannabis cartel" to sell marijuana. 

In his response to Murphy's motion, Forchion argued his rights were being violated by the ballot question and its enabling legislation, since continuing to sell weed would leave him open to prosecution. The motion is still pending. 

Read Forchion's lawsuit against Murphy at the bottom of the page.

"When Gov. Murphy describes guys like me as the 'bad guys,' and he wants the 'good guys' in — what?," Forchion said. "Ninety percent of the state's population right now gets their weed from guys like me. All those people are buying weed from us, the good guys, the black market." 

Every so often, police officers will stop by NJ Weedman's Joint to order a burger or wings from the restaurant and make comments about how “there’s a funny smell,” acknowledging that they’re well aware of the black market operating in full swing just a few feet away.

But they never do anything about it, Forchion said.

“It’s because I’m right,” he said. “They know I’m right.”

Mike Davis is an award-winning reporter who has spent the last decade covering New Jersey local news, marijuana legalization, transportation and basically whatever else is going on at any given moment. No, he cannot tell you where to buy illegal drugs. Contact him at [email protected] or @byMikeDavis on Twitter.

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Sours: https://www.app.com/story/news/local/new-jersey/marijuana//03/01/nj-marijuana-legalization-legal-weed-weedman-phil-murphy-nj-green-direct//

Nj direct is legal green

State officials have a message for businesses that have been selling baked goods and other snacks with a free gift of marijuana on the side &#x; knock it off, as it&#x;s not legal.

Cease-and-desist letters have been sent to Sky High Munchies, Slumped Kitchen, NJ Green Direct and West Winds Wellness, the state Attorney General&#x;s Office announced on Tuesday.

The gifts being offered to consumers by these four vendors appear to be central to the sales transaction and are instead a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act, according to the state.

Continuing such sales could cost the vendors, big-time.

Under the Consumer Fraud Act, each misrepresentation in the sale or advertising of merchandise counts separately.

Violators may be subject to a penalty of $10, for the first offense and $20, for each following violation.

Slumped Kitchen has been offering delivery statewide on a "random assortment" of prepackaged snack foods, while the driver then can decide to also gift the customer "free" pot.

The website features photos of fruit snacks, candy, potato chip bags and Rice Krispy treats for sale, all grouped together around marijuana buds. While each "munchie pack" is said to include 12 items, the prices range from $ to $

Similarly, Sky High Munchies has been offering free delivery statewide, for orders of "fresh baked chocolate chip cookies (NO THC) and more," according to the South Jersey operations's website. Customers then have been able to choose up to one ounce of cannabis or cannabis edibles as a free gift.

The NJ Green Direct website lists several types of cookies or brownies for delivery, with the "option" of a free gift of marijuana, while West Wind Wellness does not specify what they are selling beyond "cool assorted merchandise," with the chance of a gift of cannabis from one adult to another, 21 and older.

In legalizing adult-use cannabis in New Jersey, the Legislature made it clear they were creating a regulated market with restrictions on how that market operates, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said.

Instead of waiting for those regulations to be established, some vendors have decided to move forward on their own, in ways that the law does not allow, he continued.

Lawmaker: NJ voters also wanted homegrown marijuana legalized

Legislation signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in February legalizes and regulates marijuana use and possession by adults 21 and older, while also authorizing sales by certain businesses licensed by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission ( CRC ).

The CRC has not yet adopted rules for licensing such retailers, let alone issued any licenses.

"We do not sell any cannabis products. We sell tasty treats such as brownies and cookies AND our drivers have the 'option' to gift you up to 28g of flower as per NJ State Law that went into effect on Jan. 1st ," according to the Slumped Kitchen website.

Grewal said they&#x;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.

12 Times Being High Cost NJ Residents &#; Towns

Sours: https://thepoint.com/nj-to-companies-gifting-weed-with-snack-sales-quit-it-or-else/
Recreational Marijuana Legalized in New Jersey

New Jersey’s recreational marijuana market is now voter-approved and in effect under legislation signed last month by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.

Only those 21 and older can legally possess and use the drug. But there are a lot of ins and outs to think about; see what you can and can't do right here.

Those factors considered, how would one go about getting legal pot delivered in the Garden State? First thing you should know: It won't be cheap. But it'll be tasty.

A Toms River-based company that bills itself as a "new and unique delivery service" says it will legally deliver cannabis treats to your door -- no matter which county you live in. Slumped Kitchen won't sell you cannabis in its raw form, per se, but it will sell treats like brownies and cookies and drivers might give you up to one ounce of the raw stuff to enjoy with those as an "optional" free gift.

As far as how one opts in for that, it appears that you would select a half-ounce or full ounce "flower" for an additional $ or $, respectively, from a drop-down menu once you click on the type of treat you want via the store page.

Enjoy a candy bar munchie pack, featuring candy bars, rice crispy treats, Nabisco snacks, Linden cookies, chips and fruit snacks starting at $ (not including the flowery add-on). Not a fan of that? There's also a potato chip munchie pack.

"YES! This is % legal. We operate ONLY within the state of New Jersey! We follow all state laws that went into effect on Jan. 1st Please check and read up on the laws here," Slumped Kitchen writes on its website.

Orders can't be shipped, but Slumped Kitchen offers New Jerseyeans the privilege of having delectable "TREEats" hand delivered right to their doors.

If you think the price is steep, you aren't wrong. Essentially, Slumped Kitchen offers an "optional gift" of a half-ounce of weed delivered with its treats for a total of about $

The Honest Marijuana Company in Colorado tracks average prices for various weed quantities in 29 states and the District of Columbia, where laws have been passed legalizing or decriminalizing medical and/or recreational marijuana.

According to its website, a half-ounce of weed on the street in New Jersey goes for a cool $, on average. That's more expensive than all states on the list except for Vermont ($), North Dakota ($) and Alaska ($). In Washington, D.C., that same half-ounce will cost you an extra $ ($).

Copyright NBC New York

Sours: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/this-is-how-much-it-costs-to-get-marijuana-delivered-in-nj//

Now discussing:

NJ Green Direct began cannabis deliveries on New Year’s Day to taking advantage of the referendum whereby cannabis became legal despite Trenton’s failures.

NJWeedman began calling himself legal on New Year’s Day as well.

“We’re using a gifting loophole in the law,” CEO Sam Gindi of NJGreenDirect.com said.

They began their cannabis deliveries last Friday, January 1st when the referendum went into effect.

He noted that people who are 21 plus can possess cannabis and gift it to friends for free. Thus, they are officially selling regular cookies. Their drivers, who are all 21 plus, can give a gift of cannabis if they wish.

“We are fully compliant with New Jersey State law and ballot question 1 that passed on November 3rd, ,” their website says.

Gindi noted the state constitutional amendment passed, adding, “They just didn’t make the rules for it. It’s legal now.”

They make sure to keep under the limit of an ounce and gifting someone more in 24 hours.

“We believe the law allows us to sell another product. And our delivery drivers, who are contractors, can give free weed if they want,” Gindi explained.

He said they have consulted a lawyer on this.

The legal cannabis is murky. Enthusiasts and aficionados put themselves at risk if they seek to argue this point with a cop or a judge right now.

Cannabis Deliveries Under Murky Laws

They did not want to be completely illegal. NJ Green Direct is seeking to operate under the pending legalization and decriminalization laws.

“This is our first run into the market,” Gindi said.

They are acquiring their gifting cannabis inventory from within the state, so they do not break federal inter commerce laws. Also, they make sure that every driver has less than an ounce of cannabis.

NJ Green Direct is performing cannabis deliveries throughout New Jersey. Gindi himself lives near Asbury Park. They have only had 20 orders so far, but business is picking up.

They come straight to a customer’s door within 24 hours for free and within three hours for an extra $20 delivery fee. When the driver arrives, they are free to gift the customer cannabis. NJ Green Direct recommends their favorite strains. People call tell the drivers their preference for something along those lines. If the driver has it and wants to give it, he can give you that strain.

While they cannot correlate the price between cannabis and the cookies, Gindi noted their prices are fair and go by the market rate.

He said they are planning to write what their favorite strains are for people to gauge soon.

Gindi doesn’t think he needs a license if they can deliver. He noted the high cost and effort to obtain a license in the past in New Jersey. Many believe that will change soon due once legalization, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) is set up, and the lawsuits are settled.

In the future, if the business does do well, they would look at finding a location and obtaining a legal license a year or two down the road.

He noted the baked goods they are selling include chocolate chip and snickerdoodle cookies along with and brownies. All their products are organic.

Gifting Loopholes

Gindi is not unfamiliar with controversy. He ran last year in the Democratic primary against Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6) on a pro-legalization platform.

Gifting has become common in Washington, DC, and Massachusetts. NJ Green Direct is the first to do it in New Jersey.

Washington, DC originated the gray market gifting model. As a District, it is directly controlled by Congress. When their legalization referendum passed, the Republican-controlled Congress did not want to sanction their market and allow the necessary regulations for a legitimate market.

Thus, a gray market has developed where people can buy t-shirts for a high price and then receive cannabis for free as a gift. Or it is included in membership in some circumstances. Trihighspeed.com has been doing the same thing operating for five years in DC, and Massachusetts, Gindi noted.

Sours: https://headynj.com/nj-green-direct-has-begun-cannabis-deliveries-operating-via-loophole/


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