THE STATE SERIES: New Jersey

Labeling & Testing for Medical Cannabis

I have spent the past year or so learning medical cannabis rules and regulations across each state.  One thing I have concluded through it all is that every single state is different.  Some states really seem to have it figured out while others are missing the mark.  Cannabis consumers are often left trying to decipher hundreds of pages of “legislative-speak” just to be able to answer the question “Now that it’s available, how do I know the product is safe for me?”  I’m here to answer that for you.

As of today, there are 34 states that have legalized medical cannabis (including D.C.).  The next several posts will highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the labeling and testing regulations across each state – making it easier for consumers like you to know what you are buying, while encouraging standardization across state lines.

First stop…New Jersey.

What is on the label?

  • Name & address of alternative treatment center (ATC)
  • Quantity of marijuana contained within package
  • Date of packaging
  • Lot number
  • Cannabinoid profile (THC must not exceed 10%)
  • Strength of strain (low, medium, high)
  • Medical statement
  • List of ingredients
  • Date dispensed
  • Patient name & registry ID #
  • FDA disclaimer

How is product quality ensured?

  • ATC provides samples to the state during inspections
  • The state may test samples for: pests, mold, mildew, heavy metals, pesticides, and accuracy of labeling

Strengths

  • Pesticides are not allowed during cultivation
  • Cultivation, processing, and retail occurs all at the same facility which reduces handling and the potential for contamination

Flaws

  • ATC is not required to test every lot of product
  • No requirements for validation or certification of testing performed by the state
  • State-required testing of samples is optional during inspections
  • Frequency of state inspections is undefined
  • No mention of bacteria or solvents in state testing

Source: https://www.nj.gov/health/medicalmarijuana/documents/final_rules.pdf