Regulators have voted to allow shelf-stable edibles in New Jersey’s medical and adult-use markets, nearly 18 months after legal cannabis sales began in the state.

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) approved proposed rules for expanding edible offerings at its Sept. 8 meeting. Executive Director Jeff Brown said it could be six months before the rules take effect, but the commission also approved temporary waivers that would allow manufacturers to submit products for CRC review during the process.

When New Jersey legalized adult-use cannabis in 2021, the only permitted forms of ingestible cannabis included syrups, pills, tablets, capsules and chewables. Traditional edible formats, such as confections, beverages and baked goods, were not included over concerns of these products “resembling food” and regulating kitchen environments.

Under the new rules, edibles can take the form of chocolates, gummies, baked goods, single-serve beverages, butters, jams and jellies, but they “must not require time or temperature control to limit pathogenic microorganism growth or toxin formation.”

Furthermore, products must be manufactured with ingredients that are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and they must have an ingredients list, a nutrition label and an indication if the product requires refrigeration after opening.

For fast-acting products with intended onset of fewer than 20 minutes, product labels must say “The intoxicating effects of this product usually occur in less than 20 minutes but may be delayed by two or more hours.” 

Additionally, employees of edibles manufacturers must be trained in food safety, particularly around the causes and prevention of foodborne illnesses and safe food handling practices, including handling of major food allergens.