NJ Spotlight News
Some smoke shops are finding clever ways to illegally sell cannabis to customers.
Former New Jersey Attorney General Chris Porrino saw it firsthand while doing some field research. “What I’ve heard more about recently is, we’re charging this amount for the vape pipe or the bong, and it’s X amount dollars more than it otherwise would be. And the marijuana is a gift. The notion that that makes the illegal legal, it’s laughable,” Porrino said.
“I’m not suggesting that the people who are buying in these stores on the grey market should be prosecuted or penalized. My view is the people who are selling it should be, because frankly, they’re dealing drugs illegally,” Porrino said.
Jersey City Prosecutor Jake Hudnut said his office acted swiftly to penalize two bad actors selling illegally in his city.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, who said his city is also cracking down on the problem, warned in a statement that “those establishments who are caught selling and distributing cannabis will be closed down indefinitely and face action in court.”
But Paul Armenato, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said this behavior is to be expected given how slowly the legal marketplace has grown. “The most reliable and best strategy to disrupt the unregulated market is to swiftly provide consumers with an affordable marketplace,” he said.