After a long and winding road, marijuana advocates were overjoyed when, on Election Day 2020, New Jersey voters overwhelmingly voted to approve a ballot referendum which legalized the recreational use of cannabis in the state. Following a few more legislative speed bumps for good measure, on Feb. 22, 2021, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law three bills which, together, established the state’s new legislative framework on cannabis.
The first, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (CREAMMA) (P.L. 2021, c. 16), legalized and established regulations for adult cannabis use and possession. The two other laws—P.L. 2021, c. 19 and P.L. 2021, c. 25— combined to decriminalize marijuana and hashish possession and clarify penalties for marijuana and cannabis use for individuals younger than 21 years old.