7 Takeaways from Latest New Jersey Marijuana Bills

September 13, 2018
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New Jersey Lawmakers are Currently Working to Finalize Pair of Key Marijuana Bills

After months of debate, marijuana legalization is so close you can almost smell it. New Jersey lawmakers are currently working to finalize the medical marijuana program expansion bill and the adult-use legalization bill, which will be introduced as a package deal. According to Sen. Steve Sweeney, a vote will hopefully take place later this month.

NJ Lawmakers Looking to Finalize Key Marijuana Bills

Photo courtesy of Sharon McCutcheon (Unsplash.com)

Sen. Sweeney also maintains that he has the votes to pass the pair of bills. “There’s some people that will never support it and there are some people who are just hedging their bets because there’s not a bill to look at,” he said in August.

So, what will be in the final bills? While the points below are subject to change as the bills are finalized, here is what we know:

  • There will be language in the bills either requiring or setting a goal of issuing 25% of licenses to women-owned, minority-owned, and/or veteran-owned businesses
  • The bills will call for licenses to be issued to cultivators, processors, and retailers, and may also include language allowing for licensing of wholesalers
  • There will not be a cap on the number of dispensaries — the number will be decided by regulators
  • Regulation will be overseen by a cannabis advisory commission made up of five members (three appointed by the Governor, one appointed by the Senate and one appointed by the Assembly)
  • At least 10% of licenses awarded will be “micro-licenses” issued to businesses that operate at a small scale
  • Municipalities will still have a great deal of power to restrict or prohibit cannabis operations within their boundaries, and those that allow it will likely tax the operations on a local level
  • The bills allow for delivery to patients/consumers

Given the above, it seems that the Legislature is significantly broadening the opportunities for those who want to participate in New Jersey’s legal cannabis market, and particularly for those who want to operate on a smaller scale than the current large institutional participants.

The bills will likely be finalized in the next several days and then will be sent to Governor Phil Murphy for review. Then, they will be introduced in the Legislature, debated, and voted upon. The final step is Gov. Murphy’s signature.

The Scarinci Hollenbeck Cannabis Law Practice group will be continuously tracking the status of the bills. We encourage current and prospective members of the New Jersey cannabis industry to check back regularly for updates.

If you have any questions, please contact us

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact me, Dan McKillop, at 201-806-3364.

This article is a part of a series pertaining to cannabis legalization in New Jersey and the United States at large. Prior articles in this series are below:

Disclaimer: Possession, use, distribution, and/or sale of cannabis is a Federal crime and is subject to related Federal policy. Legal advice provided by Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC is designed to counsel clients regarding the validity, scope, meaning, and application of existing and/or proposed cannabis law. Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC will not provide assistance in circumventing Federal or state cannabis law or policy, and advice provided by our office should not be construed as such.