cannabis law

Another Delay for New Jersey Cannabis Legalization

Another Delay for New Jersey Cannabis Legalization

By Patrick McKnight

An ongoing political saga took another unpredicted turn this month. After over a year of building momentum, hopes for a legislative vote on legalizing the adult-use of recreational cannabis have once again faded. Senate President Steve Sweeney announced he is no longer working towards a legislative solution, instead proposing a ballot referendum in 2020. In the meantime, he pledged to continue efforts to expand the Garden State’s medical marijuana program. He also expressed his support for an expungement bill.

On May 15, 2019, Sweeney tweeted “We will move forward with the expansion of our medical cannabis program as well as the progressive social justice reforms in the expungement legislation. We will not, however, pursue the legalization of adult use marijuana at this time.”

What’s Inside New Jersey’s Proposed Cannabis Legalization Bill?

What’s Inside New Jersey’s Proposed Cannabis Legalization Bill?

By Patrick McKnight

Over a year after reform advocates first began predicting swift legislative victory, the recreational use of cannabis remains illegal in New Jersey. When Governor Murphy and Senate President Sweeney agreed on a $42 per ounce flat tax in February, legalization supporters once again hoped for quick adoption of New Jersey Assembly Bill 4497 (“A4497”). Once again, the much-publicized March 25th vote was called off due to lack of support. Now legislators have a limited window to act before the state budget deadline on July 1st.

Hopes for reform have ebbed and flowed since Governor Murphy was elected on a platform including legalization within his first 100 days. Despite his party controlling both the Senate and Assembly, the Governor has only been able to expand the medical program since taking office. That executive action doubled medical marijuana enrollment in just six months.

While the media has spilled considerable ink analyzing the political drama, actual details of the bill itself have received considerably less attention. A4497 attempts to incorporate lessons learned from other legalization regimes in Colorado, Washington, and California. Some critics argue certain provisions in the bill are too ambitious. Others wish the bill would go even farther. These disputes will need to be resolved before the ongoing 18-month saga finally comes to a vote in Trenton.

New Jersey Moves Closer to Legalization

New Jersey Moves Closer to Legalization

By Patrick McKnight

New Jersey took another big step towards legalizing the recreational adult-use of cannabis last week, but legislators stopped short of taking the historic vote. After a breakthrough in negotiations over taxes and regulatory oversight between Governor Murphy and Senate President Sweeney in February, the scene appeared to be set for legalization. A vote was scheduled for Monday, March 25 but was postponed due to a lack of support. Leaders now hope to work out remaining sticking points and pass legislation before June.