New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal last week sent a warning letter to five businesses warning them to stop offering cannabis “gifts” with the purchase of snacks and other products. The cease-and-desist order informed the companies they are under investigation for violating the Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) on the grounds that the cannabis gifts are central to the sales transaction and are, therefore, not gifts at all.
In a statement, Gurbir said that when lawmakers legalized cannabis in February—following approval of the reforms by voters—they “made it clear they were creating a regulated market with restrictions on how that market operates.”
“Instead of waiting for those regulations to be established, some vendors have decided to move forward on their own, in ways that the law does not allow. Today we’re making it clear that we will not permit these entities to undermine the regulated cannabis marketplace the Legislature created or to compete unfairly with properly licensed cannabis businesses.”—Gurbir in a press release
In an interview with Breaking AC, Sky High Munchies Owner Gary Bozzini called Gurbir’s letter “a scare tactic.”
Andrew Nestoras, of Sky High, said that by not implementing an adult-use market immediately, lawmakers “left a void.”
“And entrepreneurs and people who are business savvy and want to do right by the community are filling the void,” he told Breaking AC, “and they don’t like that.”
“Dana P.,” one of the owners of West Wind Wellness who uses a pseudonym to protect her identity, told Breaking AC that the practice of gifting cannabis “isn’t illegal.”
“And that’s the bottom line,” she said in the interview.
First-time violators of the CFA may be subject to a penalty of $10,000. Repeat offenders may have to pay $20,000 for each subsequent violation.
Other companies targeted by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office include NJ Green Direct, Slumped Kitchen, and Anzalone.
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