Go big, or go home, seems to be the Mantra of Matthew Quinn and Crystal Cain, who were again caught running an unlicensed dispensary in NJ, this time, in Evesham Township. The couple made headlines back in April of this year when they were busted in Lumberton Township at an unlicensed dispensary called Skraptyques, where cops seized 100 plus pounds of pot, a pound of some magic mushrooms, $250,000, and 48 packets of heroin.
Obviously not fazed, the couple did the old Los Angeles dispensary shuffle, and just found another location, this time though, in Evesham Township.
Last week Evesham Township police raided the couple at a storefront on the 900 block of Rt 73, where they seized 450 pounds of marijuana related products, including flowers, edibles and concentrated THC products. The police also raided the couples residence in New Egypt, NJ, where they took them into custody for the “illegal” operation and they were booked into the Burlington County Jail.
“The Evesham Township Police Department recognizes the state’s new laws governing the use and sale of recreational marijuana,” township police said in a release. “This case involves a blatant disregard of these new laws and ignores the safety of the citizens of New Jersey by the suspects distributing unregulated marijuana to our residents. We will continue to vigorously enforce the laws which govern the sale, use and distribution of unregulated marijuana while honoring the same laws afforded to our residents for recreational use and legal sale of marijuana.”
The issue for law enforcement though, is that NJ residents thought that they legalized marijuana years ago, so why are people still getting busted? The NJ Constitution is vague, leaving the actions of the couple arrested in this case in a legal limbo, a limbo it seems that Prosecutors are scared to touch. A couple of months ago more than 15 people were arrested and had their marijuana products seized at the Berlin Farmer’s Market, yet none of them have been charged with any crime, which is the same for several people busted in Gloucester City.
NJweedman has been operating in Trenton for years, and there are probably at least 10 other gray market dispensaries in that area open and operating in the city of Trenton as well. It reminds me of the early 2000’s in California, when Prop 215 was the only law in the State, and it was vague enough to drive a truck through. NJ’s law is similar, but it even goes a step further and makes it a constitutional right.
NJ’s Constitution reads “The growth, cultivation, processing, manufacturing, preparing, packaging, transferring, and retail purchasing and consumption of cannabis, or products created from or which include cannabis, by persons 21 years of age or older, and not by persons under 21 years of age, shall be lawful and subject to regulation by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission created by P.L.2019, c.153 (C.24:6I-5.1 et al.), or any successor to that commission.”.
The wording of the constitutional right seems pretty clear, but adds a caveat at the end, a caveat that has still yet to come to fruition. So, one could easily argue that all of the activities listed prior to the words “shall be lawful”, are lawful. So this scares the shit out of the State, and the prosecutors, because if they take someone to trial on these charges, and a jury agrees with the defendants, NJ’s regulatory scheme goes up in smoke like an old Cheech and Chong movie.
It’s the “legal” dispensaries in NJ you have to blame for not having an abundance of them, they spent millions blocking others out for over a decade. So the question is, can any prosecutor get 12 people in NJ to say guilty and send people to prison for what can easily be interpreted as a constitutional right? I know if I am sitting on any jury where they try and prosecute anyone for any cannabis crime, I am saying not guilty, what about you?