Submitted by New Jersey Drug Crime Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.

On February 22, 2021, New Jersey Governor Murphy signed into law three bills legalizing marijuana possession and authorizes its sale by approved distributors.

The bills and highlights are as follows:

A21 – “The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act”

  • Provides for details on the commission to oversee marijuana distribution
  • Provides for different classes of “marketplace” licensed businesses, which are:
    • Class 1 – grower
    • Class 2 -manufacturing, preparation, packaging
    • Class 3 – whole sale
    • Class 4 – distributor, transportation
    • Class 5 – retailer
    • Class 6 – delivery, courier services
  • Provides for requirements and implementation of licenses
  • Criminal code is amended to allow:
    • Person 21 years or older to possess, purchase, or transport cannabis paraphernalia and one ounce or less of marijuana.
    • Transferring marijuana to another person 21 years or older is legal if done for non business purposes.
    • Open package, similar to open container law applies for the driver of a vehicle.
    • Underage possession results in monetary fines

A1897 – decriminalizing marijuana and hashish possession

  • Decriminalize possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana
  • Eliminate penalties for being under the influence of marijuana
  • Waiver of all penalties of a single violation within a three year period upon showing that a substance abuse evaluation was performed within 60 days of the violation
  • Expungement would follow automatically if the person is deemed not to need more treatment
  • Driving while in possession of 10 grams or less is legal, adhering to open package laws
  • New disorderly persons offense of negligent storage resulting in someone under 18 possessing marijuana
  • Expungements immediately available for 10 grams or less
  • First offenders charged with disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons will not undergo supervisory treatment and upon a showing of no treatment needed, can have the violation expunged after six months
  • Driving privileges no longer suspended during supervisory treatment
  • Conditional discharge available to every defendant unless the court finds the defendant poses a danger to the community or the terms of supervisory treatment would be inadequate, or the person have previously received supervisory treatment.
  • Any person serving a sentence may move to have sentence reviewed and impose a civil penalty instead for possession of 10 grams or less, being under the influence of marijuana, failing to deliver to law enforcement, or paraphernalia.
  • Any person convicted but not sentenced may move to have conviction overturned for possession of 10 grams or less, being under the influence of marijuana, failing to deliver to law enforcement, or paraphernalia.
  • Any person who has been charged and not convicted will have charges dismissed and prosecutor may charge person civil penalty if person was in violation of possession of 10 grams or less, being under the influence of marijuana, failing to deliver to law enforcement, or paraphernalia.

NJ S3454

  • Outlines in detail underage possession, violations, and penalties in a variety of circumstances
  • Establishes commission to oversee underage possession


At Hark & Hark, we represent clients in Superior Court and municipal court for criminal matters, including marijuana issues and DUI / marijuana DWI. We vigorously defend our clients by fighting to uphold their constitutional rights, and ensure law enforcement follow proper procedures to legally make an arrest.

We offer payment plan options to clients financially incapable of providing full payment upfront. If you are facing criminal charges similar to this circumstance, please call us to discuss the matter. At Hark & Hark, we represent clients for any case in any town in New Jersey including Bass River, Beverly, Bordentown City, Bordentown Township, Burlington City, Burlington Township, Chesterfield, Cinnaminson, Delanco, Delran, Eastampton, Edgewater Park, Evesham, Fieldsboro, Florence, Hainesport, Lumberton, Mansfield, Maple Shade, Medford Lakes, Medford Township, Moorestown, Mount Holly, Mount Laurel, New Hanover, North Hanover, Palmyra, Pemberton Borough, Pemberton Township, Riverside, Riverton, Shamong, Southampton, Springfield, Tabernacle, Washington Township, Westampton, Willingboro, Woodland Township, and Wrightstown.

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Criminal Civil Lawyer

Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

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