3. Authority to control. a. The director shall administer the provisions of P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1 et seq.), as amended and supplemented, as provided herein. The director may add substances to or delete or reschedule all substances enumerated in the schedules in sections 5 through 8.1 of P.L.1970, c.226, as amended and supplemented (C.24:21-5 through 24 :21-8.1). In determining whether to control a substance, the director shall consider the following:
(1) Its actual or relative potential for abuse;
(2) Scientific evidence of its pharmacological effect, if known;
(3) State of current scientific knowledge regarding the substance;
(4) Its history and current pattern of abuse;
(5) The scope, duration, and significance of abuse;
(6) What, if any, risk there is to the public health;
(7) Its psychic or physiological dependence liability; and
(8) Whether the substance is an immediate precursor of a substance already controlled under this article.
After considering the above factors, the director shall make findings with respect thereto and shall issue an order controlling the substance if he finds that the substance has a potential for abuse.
b. If the director designates a substance as an immediate precursor, substances which are precursors of the controlled precursor shall not be subject to control solely because they are precursors of the controlled precursor.
c. If any substance is designated, rescheduled or deleted as a controlled dangerous substance under federal law and notice thereof is given to the director, the director shall similarly control the substance under P.L.1970, c.226, as amended and supplemented, after the expiration of 30 days from publication in the Federal Register of a final order designating a substance as a controlled dangerous substance or rescheduling or deleting a substance, unless within that 30-day period, the director objects to inclusion, rescheduling, or deletion. In that case, the director shall cause to be published in the New Jersey Register and made public the reasons for his objection and shall afford all interested parties an opportunity to be heard. At the conclusion of any such hearing, the director shall publish and make public his decision, which shall be final unless the substance is specifically otherwise dealt with by an act of the Legislature. Upon publication of objection to inclusion or rescheduling under P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1 et seq.) by the director, control of such substance under this section shall automatically be stayed until such time as the director makes public his final decision.
The director may by regulation exclude any nonnarcotic substance from a schedule if such substance may, under the provisions of federal or State law, be lawfully sold over the counter without a prescription, unless otherwise controlled pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the division.
d. The director shall update and republish the schedules in sections 5 through 8.1 of P.L.1970, c.226, as amended and supplemented (C.24:21-5 through 24 :21-8.1) periodically.