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We are in New Jersey, USA. We have a client who has some abandoned warehouse space. I suggested re-purposing it as a giant greenhouse. Our choice of plant for maximum profit is obvious. Legalized marijuana for medical, recreational, and hemp products is the next economic boon sweeping the country and we want to be ready to cash in as soon as it becomes legal in our state.

As we plan the groundwork, we need to know how far along in the process we can be before we cross the present threshold of legality in our state, and federally. Can we procure the seeds, plant the seeds, how mature can they be grown, can they be harvested but not sold, etc?

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    You really need your own lawyer here, especially given that you'll be violating federal law. We can't offer legal advice on specific situations here. See law.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/221/… – Nate Eldredge May 25 '17 at 23:50
  • OK, at what stage would we be violating federal law? – 0tyranny 0poverty May 26 '17 at 0:11
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    It's illegal under federal law to possess any amount of marijuana, which includes viable seeds. Attempting or conspiring to possess is likewise illegal. Intent to sell or distribute makes it worse. It's all in the Controlled Substances Act; I can try to write an answer with the full citations later if you really want. – Nate Eldredge May 26 '17 at 0:56
  • Anyway, you should rephrase your question to ask for general information about the law, instead of "is this specific planned action legal?" Again, see the link I posted above. – Nate Eldredge May 26 '17 at 0:57
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    The federal government is currently choosing not to prioritize enforcing those laws in those places. No guarantee they won't change their minds. – Nate Eldredge May 26 '17 at 3:03
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Under federal law, it is illegal the minute you have any marijuana or marijuana seeds. Likewise under NJ law, except if authorized by state law, for medical marijuana production.

Under NJ's medical marijuana law, "alternative treatment centers" grow and dispense medical marijuana, and there is no provision for mass-production growers (who don't distribute). Such a center is "an organization approved by the department [of Health and Senior Services] to perform activities necessary to provide registered qualifying patients with usable marijuana and related paraphernalia in accordance with the provisions of this act". The department accepts applications to operate such a center, and "shall seek to ensure the availability of a sufficient number of alternative treatment centers throughout the State, pursuant to need, including at least two each in the northern, central, and southern regions of the State" (they have to find a need for another center in a location, in order for one to get authorized; this is evaluated every 2 years). There are criminal background checks for those involved with a treatment center. According to this article, there are a maximum of 6 centers to be opened, in Montclair, Egg Harbor Township, Woodbridge, Bellmawr, and Cranbury (existing), and Secaucus (under review). The article implies that 6 is the statutory maximum, but that is the statutory minimum, though probably the regulatory maximum (i.e. the state will not authorize any further centers). It also says that the centers must be non-profit, though the law only requires the first two to be non-profit (though it could be a de facto requirement via the regulatory power of the Dept. of Health). Since they don't seem to be eager to expand availability, there isn't any information on what other requirements there are for operating such a center, though the application form is here.

The 2016 annual report gives information on production at the 5 existing centers, which is in the range of 400-800 lbs annually.

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  • Much gratitude:) I think there is a typo where you have "statutory minimum"; probably you meant 'maximum'. – 0tyranny 0poverty May 26 '17 at 1:31
  • That is correct: the law says there shall be at least 6 centers ("at least two each in the northern, central, and southern regions"). – user6726 May 26 '17 at 1:39
  • at most or at least? – 0tyranny 0poverty May 26 '17 at 1:40
  • There shall be at least... i.e; a minimum of 6. Nj.com may have been informally told that is also the maximum. – user6726 May 26 '17 at 1:46
  • I searched the marijuana law cited for the number 6 and can't find where it states the limitation. The article doesn't mention it either. – 0tyranny 0poverty May 26 '17 at 1:47

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