NJ to Companies ‘Gifting’ Weed With Snack Sales: Quit It or Else
State officials have a message for businesses that have been selling baked goods and other snacks with a “free gift” of marijuana on the side — knock it off, as it’s not legal.
Cease-and-desist letters have been sent to Sky High Munchies, Slumped Kitchen, NJ Green Direct and West Winds Wellness, the state Attorney General’s Office announced on Tuesday.
The “gifts” being offered to consumers by these four vendors appear to be central to the sales transaction and are instead a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act, according to the state.
Continuing such sales could cost the vendors, big-time.
Under the Consumer Fraud Act, each misrepresentation in the sale or advertising of merchandise counts separately.
Violators may be subject to a penalty of $10,000 for the first offense and $20,000 for each following violation.
Slumped Kitchen has been offering delivery statewide on a "random assortment" of prepackaged snack foods, while the driver then can decide to also gift the customer "free" pot.
The website features photos of fruit snacks, candy, potato chip bags and Rice Krispy treats for sale, all grouped together around marijuana buds. While each "munchie pack" is said to include 12 items, the prices range from $120 to $250.
Similarly, Sky High Munchies has been offering free delivery statewide, for orders of "fresh baked chocolate chip cookies (NO THC) and more," according to the South Jersey operations's website. Customers then have been able to choose up to one ounce of cannabis or cannabis edibles as a free gift.
The NJ Green Direct website lists several types of cookies or brownies for delivery, with the "option" of a free gift of marijuana, while West Wind Wellness does not specify what they are selling beyond "cool assorted merchandise," with the chance of a gift of cannabis from one adult to another, 21 and older.
“In legalizing adult-use cannabis in New Jersey, the Legislature made it clear they were creating a regulated market with restrictions on how that market operates,” state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said.
“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,” he continued.
Legislation signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in February legalizes and regulates marijuana use and possession by adults 21 and older, while also authorizing sales by certain businesses licensed by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (“CRC”).
The CRC has not yet adopted rules for licensing such retailers, let alone issued any licenses.
"We do not sell any cannabis products. We sell tasty treats such as brownies and cookies AND our drivers have the 'option' to gift you up to 28g of flower as per NJ State Law that went into effect on Jan. 1st 2021," according to the Slumped Kitchen website.
Grewal said they’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.”