The Legal Landscape for NJ Marijuana Enthusiasts and Home Cultivation

The Current legalities of home growing cannabis in New Jersey

While New Jersey has embraced the legalization of cannabis, there are still strict regulations effecting the legal landscape for NJ marijuana enthusiasts and home cultivation.

Can a homeowner grow marijuana in New Jersey? Currently, the answer is no. Cultivating even a single plant is considered a third-degree crime, punishable by three to five years in prison[1][2]. Growing 10 plants escalates to a first-degree crime with penalties of up to 20 years in prison. This situation places New Jersey in a unique position compared to other states where recreational cannabis is legal[3].

New Jersey Senators Singleton and Gopal introduced NJ S342, a bill for legalizing home cannabis cultivation. The bill has support from six co-sponsors, showing a shift towards more permissive cannabis laws. NJ S342 focuses on allowing medical patients to grow cannabis at home. State Senator Vin Gopal also introduced NJ S353, to allow all New Jersey adults to grow up to six plants, with a provision for medical patients to grow up to 10 plants, maintaining a maximum of 12 plants per household. However, this bill primarily has Democratic co-sponsors and has not garnered bipartisan support.

The Debate on Home Cultivation

How much does a marijuana grow license cost in NJ? Presently, as home cultivation is illegal, there is no cost associated with a grow license in New Jersey, as such a license does not exist[1][2]. The discussion about home cultivation is multifaceted, involving economic, social, and legal dimensions. Some in the industry worry that allowing home cultivation might interfere with the revenue from legal sales. In 2019, New York medical dispensaries expressed concerns that home cultivation laws could reduce their profits[4]. However, Kris Krane, a cannabis industry expert, argues against this perspective. Krane states: “I think if people want to cultivate their own, they should have every right to do so[4]“. He further suggests the sale of seeds, plants, and gardening tools specifically for growing cannabis[4] will have economic benefits in the industry.

Impact on Retail Sales and the Illicit Market

Studies indicate that home cultivation does not significantly impact the legal market’s revenue. In Colorado, where home cultivation is allowed, the state saw over $1.7 billion in cannabis sales and more than $325 million in cannabis taxes in 2022[5]. These figures suggest that home cultivation, akin to a hobby, doesn’t pose a serious threat to regulated sales.

Moreover, home cultivation can play a role in displacing the illicit market, especially in areas without legal retail outlets[6]. Home cultivation offers a legal cannabis source in rural areas where marijuana stores are banned, reducing reliance on illicit markets[7]. This supports legalization efforts to regulate and control the cannabis market, ensuring safe access and curbing illegal trade.

Is it hard to grow marijuana in your house? While the difficulty can vary, the success of home cultivation in states like Colorado suggests it’s feasible[8]. With access to the right resources and knowledge, many individuals successfully grow cannabis depending on their preferences and local climate.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has expressed openness to the idea of allowing home cultivation of cannabis[9]. Additionally, Senator Nicholas Scutari has been influential in shaping the state’s cannabis policies. Scutari’s stance on home cultivation plays a crucial role in determining the future legal framework in New Jersey. The move towards legalizing home cultivation could align New Jersey with the growing trend in other states. This, in turn, could potentially address some of the concerns related to the illicit market and consumer preferences. As noted by cannabis advocate Chris Goldstein, Scutari’s stance has been crucial in holding back the bill, as he is a key figure in determining which legislation moves forward in the Senate[10].


The debate around home cultivation and the legal landscape for NJ marijuana enthusiasts is complex. It’s insightful to consider the perspectives of local cannabis businesses like Dank Poet Dispensary LLC on this topic. While concerns exist about the potential impact on retail revenues, data from states like Colorado suggests that these impacts may be minimal. Moreover, allowing home cultivation could help in diminishing the illicit market and align with consumer preferences.

As a legal retail dispensary in Washington Borough, NJ, Dank Poet, understanding the nuances of cannabis consumer behavior, believes that retail dispensaries and home growers can coexist. They advocate for a market that balances accessibility, affordability and support of the dynamic retail sector.

As discussions continue, it will be interesting to see how New Jersey navigates complexities and the impact any changes in the law will have on the cannabis market and consumer behavior.


  1. “Jail for growing weed? You must be high | Editorial” –
  2. “Years in prison for growing weed? Still?” –
  3. “Why is N.J. the only legal weed state that doesn’t allow to grow at …” –
  4. “New Jersey Cannabis: Weighing in on the Home Cultivation Ban” – The Bluntness
  5. “The Case for Allowing Home Cultivation” –
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. “Murphy ‘very open’ to letting you grow your own weed in N.J.” –
  10. “New Jersey bill to allow cannabis patients to grow at home has momentum, but one man is blocking it” – POLITICO Pro

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *