Here’s What You Need to Know About Legal Marijuana in New Jersey
Here's What You Need to Know About Legal Marijuana in New Jersey
“Legalizing adult-use marijuana is a monumental step to reducing disparities in our criminal justice system” ~ Governor Murphy
This week New Jersey took a big step towards legalizing marijuana in the Garden State. Many stumbling points were addressed and Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Senator Scutari, and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano announced this week an agreement on the broad outlines of legislation to legalize adult-use marijuana in New Jersey.
Here are some key issues addressed:
- Adult-use marijuana will be subject to an excise tax of $42 per ounce, which will be imposed when marijuana is cultivated.
- Municipalities that are home to a cultivator or manufacturer will receive the revenue from a 2% tax on the product within their jurisdiction.
- Municipalities that are home to a wholesaler will receive the revenue from a 1% tax on the product within their jurisdiction, while municipalities that are home to a retailer will receive the revenue from a 3% tax on the product within their jurisdiction.
- Adult-use marijuana will be governed by a Cannabis Regulatory Commission, composed of five members. Three members will be appointed by the Governor, with the Governor’s initial appointments to serve terms of at least four years and not be subject to Senate confirmation.
- Two other members will be appointed by the Governor, upon the recommendations of the Speaker and Senate President. The Commission will promulgate all regulations to govern the industry and will oversee the applications for licensing of adult-use marijuana dispensaries.
- Provisions in the bill establish an expedited expungement process for individuals convicted of low-level marijuana offenses, and a virtual expungement process that will automatically prevent certain marijuana offenses from being taken into account in certain areas such as education, housing, and occupational licensing.
- A number of provisions aim to ensure broad-based participation in the industry for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs), low- and middle-income individuals, and disadvantaged communities across the state.
"This plan will allow for the adult use of cannabis in a responsible way,” ~ Senate President Sweeney
Now the question..... when will legal marijuana actually be available in New Jersey? Some speculate it could be as early as September, with others pointing towards possibily a year from now.
“The prohibition on marijuana has long been a failed policy,” ~ Senator Nicholas Scutari