A class of designer drug that is now extremely prevalent in terms of possession and distribution is synthetic cannabinioids. This category of CDS mimics the effects of marijuana (a.k.a. cannabis) when it is ingested, smoked or inhaled. NJ law makers, prosecutors, and police have taken a significant interest in synthetic marijuana because of its powerful nature, as well as its accessibility over the counter under trade names like purple haze, incense, spice, and herbal. The issue has been taken so seriously that, unlike marijuana, a synthetic cannabinoid is always an indictable crime (i.e. felony), even when the charge is limited to simple possession. You definitely want to consult with an experienced drug offense defense attorney like those at our firm if you are facing a synthetic marijuana charge. A former county prosecutor from our Newark Office is ready to assist you and initial consultations are always complimentary. Give us a call 24/7 at 973-710-1520.

Substances That Qualify As Synthetic Cannabinoids

Ten (10) chemical compounds and their derived as set forth under N.J.S. 2C:35-5.3b. These substances, structural equivalents and compounds that are derived of these items are all illegal under this law. The following is a list of the ten (10) compounds:

• Naphthoylindoles
• Naphthylmethylindoles
• Naphthoylpyrroles
• Naphthylmethylindenes
• Phenylacetylindoles
• Cyclohexylphenols
• Benzoylindoles
• [2,3-Dihydro-5-methyl-3-(4-orpholinylmethyl)pyrrolo[1,2,3-de]-1, 4-benzoxazin-6-yl]-1-napthalenylmethanone
• 6aR,1 10aR)-9-(hydroxymethyl)-6, 6-dimethyl-3-(2-methyloctan-2-yl)-6a,7,10,10a-tetrahydrobenzo[c]chromen-l-ol 7370
• Adamantoylindoles

The eleventh item contained in the statute is the catchall that prohibits presently unidentified substances that are manufactured as cannabinoid receptor agonist and imitates the effect of real marijuana.

Manufacturing, Distributing or Possessing A Synthetic Cannabinoid

In accordance with N.J.S. 2C:35-5.3b, it is illegal in New Jersey to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess a synthetic cannabinoid. The more tricky question in terms of this law is whether or not a particular substance falls within this category of CDS. To render this issue somewhat easier for prosecutors to prove, 2C:35-5.3b provides that the law not only applies to known forms of imitation cannabis but also any compound that mimics the pharmacological effect of naturally occurring illegal cannabinoids.

Grading of Offense. It is a second degree crime to manufacture, distribute or dispense one ounce or more of a synthetic cannabonoid.  If the quantity involved in the distribution is less than one (1) ounce, it is a third degree crime. Possession of synthetic cannabis is a third degree crime for one (1) ounce or more, and a fourth degree crime for lesser amounts.

Penalties. Second degree possession with intent to distribute carries five (5) to ten (10) years in prison, with a presumption of incarceration. In addition to imprisonment, a second degree crime like this triggers a fine of up to $150,000.00. Third degree distribution, as well as possession, results in three (3) to five (5) years in prison, along with a maximum fine of $15,000. Fourth degree possession of synthetic cannabinoid involves up to 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Newark NJ Synthetic Cannabinoid Defense Attorneys

If you are facing a charge or indictment based on any variety of synthetic cannabis, you will have a felony criminal record if you are convicted. There is no reason to deal with this risk on your own, particularly, when there is a good chance that we can help you avoid a record. Call  us any time of day for free consultation with an experienced drug offense defense attorney.