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NJCRC

The two percent New Jersey medical cannabis sales tax on patient medicine has ended. This was set to occur due to medical cannabis reform legislation passed in 2019.

Beginning last Saturday, July 2nd, New Jersey residents enrolled in the State’s medical cannabis program will not have to pay the state sales tax on cannabis and cannabis products purchased at permitted medicinal cannabis dispensaries.

The three-phase elimination of the sales tax was outlined in the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act which was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy in July 2019.

“Removing state sales tax on medicinal cannabis is consistent with Governor Murphy and the Legislature’s intent to prioritize patients and improve affordability,” said New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJCRC) Executive Director Jeff Brown. “As the sales tax has been phased out from 4% to 2% and now to 0%, patients have been able to spend less on their medicine, further ensuring patients are prioritized over recreational consumers.”

Regular medicine is not taxed.

The program remains limited, with only 24 medical cannabis dispensary locations around the State serving about 135,000 patients. New Jersey medical patient advocates uniformly agree that the medical cannabis sold is overpriced and low quality.

While the Honig Act permitted home delivery, the cannabis corporations that are Multi-State Operators (MSOs) from out of State operating a de facto cartel only began to implement it earlier this year. They seemed to only do so to be permitted to sell the much more lucrative adult-use cannabis. New Jersey started allowing home delivery in June 2020.

Furthermore, while the Act lengthened the validation of a prescription, a medical cannabis patient still must return to a doctor to have a prescription renewed. However, medical cannabis knowledge is so primitive that the prescriptions allow medical cannabis patients to purchase whatever cannabis product they want. The only limit is that imposed by the State, their knowledge, and the inventory of a dispensary.

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A real prescription from a doctor prescribes a certain amount of a specific medicine.

With New Jersey’s legacy market thriving, savvy patients have little reason to go to one of only 24 locations.

It seems the NJCRC understands the poor nature of the market they inherited from the NJ Department of Health, which began under former Republican Governor Chris Christie. As such, the number of licenses has gone from 12 medical cannabis licenses in September 2021 to 56 New Jersey medical cannabis licenses and 229 adult-use cannabis licenses in July 2022. While that includes companies with more than one license, the number of licenses will likely pass 300 during the NJCRC’s next meeting on July 28th, Peruvian Independence Day.

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