Something to Chew On: Pennsylvania and New Jersey Regulators Struggle to Regulate Edible Cannabis Products
The cannabis edible scene is booming. From THC-infused chocolates to gummies and even turkey gravy laced with THC – if you can eat it, chances are someone's trying to infuse it with THC.
In this evolving edible market, regulatory bodies in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania are scrambling to catch up. While New Jersey welcomed recreational cannabis back in November 2020, it permitted only a narrow selection of edible products, limited to syrups, pills, and tablets. But the tides of change are rising. In September 2023, New Jersey regulators passed regulations that allow for a broader range of THC-infused edible products, including baked goods and drinks. Though this potential expansion cannot officially occur until December 2023, proactive cannabis manufacturers can request a waiver to begin manufacturing these edible products.
Meanwhile Pennsylvania regulators are still mulling things over on edible regulations. The Keystone State is clear on what is okay (THC pills, oils, and tinctures) and what's not (chewable candies). However, edibles are allowed in certain circumstances: a melt-in-your-mouth cannabis gummy? Totally fine. An edible you chew? Not so much.
The scenario gets even stickier with the introduction of "troches." This variety of edibles, with textures ranging from hard cough drops to soft chews like jolly ranchers, poses a conundrum. Designed to dissolve rather than be chewed, they seemingly circumvent Pennsylvania's chewable ban. Yet their very existence spurs debate, especially given the state Medical Marijuana Advisory Board's recent refusal to permit edibles.
The unclear legal nature of troches places both cannabis manufacturers and medical cannabis users in a bind. The ambiguity casts a shadow, with producers unsure of whether they can manufacture troche products. Additionally, this ambiguity places medical cannabis users in an uneasy position, because Pennsylvania police officers unfamiliar with troches may not be able to distinguish troches from unlawful chewables.
In short, cannabis regulations are ever evolving, with states constantly redefining their stances. For the public, it is essential to stay informed, understand regional nuances, and ensure one's consumption aligns with the local legal landscape.
For information about national and state cannabis law matters and regulatory compliance, please contact our Cannabis Law Practice Group attorneys: William J. Beneduce, Esquire (email@example.com) or Benjamin P. Sheppard, Esquire (firstname.lastname@example.org), or contact our offices at (908) 722-0700.