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NJ-CRC Opens Comments on Proposed Cannabis Edibles Rules

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC) is opening public comment on the rules to expand cannabis edibles.

The comment period began yesterday October 16, 2023. It lasts until December 15, 2023. The NJ-CRC invites the public, industry stakeholders, and interested parties to submit feedback on the proposed rules.

No traditional cannabis pot brownies or baked edibles are currently available in the legal New Jersey adult use cannabis market. Lozenges were initially allowed. That led to the development of “soft lozenges” or gummies.

Cannabis Edibles Coming to New Jersey

“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,” said NJ-CRC Executive Director Jeff Brown.

New Jersey cannabis edible products will only include “shelf-stable, ready to use items that do not require cooking, baking, or storage in sterile environments.”

The waiver allows syrups, single-serve beverages, pills, capsules, or tablets, “oral suspensions”, and “chocolates, gummies, baked goods, butters, jams, and jellies. Such that the product does not require time or temperature control to limit pathogenic microorganism growth or toxin formation.”

Beverages must be in single-serving containers like cans or small bottles. There is also a limit of 5mg of THC per serving which is comparable to other state legal cannabis markets. But they’re very weak compared to stronger underground legacy beverages.

New Jersey has already seen hemp-derived Delta 8 THC beverages become popular. CBD beverages have been available in New Jersey for a few years now.

Red Tape and Safety Precautions Likely Cause of Delay

The expanded rules include ingredients the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regards as safe.

The NJ-CRC rules seek to take precautions against food poisoning and similar issues.

Brown has argued in the past this was why the New Jersey cannabis edibles process has been delayed.

The New Jersey cannabis edibles rules will appear in the New Jersey Register and undergo public comment. The rules will ultimately be proposed for adoption at a future NJ-CRC meeting. 

Comments may address various aspects of the proposed regulations to ensure that the final rules reflect the best interests of both consumers and the industry. The public is invited to comment.

The NJ-CRC developed the proposed New Jersey cannabis edibles regulations with input from experts, stakeholders, and the public.

They proposed the rules in September. The NJ-CRC is aiming at expanding product offerings in the New Jersey cannabis market. 

Long Awaited New Jersey Cannabis Edibles Arriving

New Jersey cannabis edibles have been promised for some time by the NJ-CRC.

The demand for more New Jersey cannabis edibles has been a complaint of cannabis advocates since establishing the NJ-CRC’s interim rules in 2021. Several Jersey cannabis advocates argued it had hurt efforts launching the legal New Jersey adult use cannabis market. Cannabis industry experts expect cannabis edibles to be very popular.

Cannabis edibles are very popular with many cannabis consumers who are unaccustomed or do not like the harshness that smoking might cause on the throat.

Thus, the NJ-CRC adopted waivers to placate demand that expand product offerings immediately while the rules go through the formal public comment process. 

A spokesperson for the NJ-CRC said the proposed edible rules will enhance the variety, safety, and quality of edible products.

Several New Jersey cannabis entrepreneurs have been eagerly awaiting the introduction of legal cannabis edibles. Some jumped to get a license immediately, knowing this would occur.

Others, many smaller women-owned businesses without the means to jump over many barriers to entry, have waited. A lot of them have remained underground legacy operators.

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