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New Jersey Cannabis Law Hearing Thursday

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to have a hearing on Thursday regarding the New Jersey cannabis law implementation of the referendum.

New Jersey cannabis law implementation has been polling well all year. So it is not the gamble it would appear to be on the surface to set the details of something that may or may not happen.

Advocates want to see strong small business provisions, homegrow, remedies for cannabis convictions, racial equity provisions for Hispanics and Blacks harmed by the police, and especially homegrow.

Many grassroots activists and supporters do not think NJ Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Nick Scutari (D-Union) can deliver an ideal bill.

Across the industry, social justice provisions have been implemented after legalization, and the industry was set up. It has led to exceedingly few Hispanic and Black dispensary owners and executives. Illinois was the latest state to implement social justice reform as part of adult-use cannabis. It has not worked how many hoped it would.

The way New Jersey’s medical cannabis has unfolded, many New Jersey cannabis activists and diehard believers in New Jersey cannabis law legalization are exceedingly wary.

Many did not like the bill introduced in 2018 for cannabis implementation, S. 2703, by Scutari because it limited expungement to those arrested for five pounds and under of cannabis.

The website says, “The committee will receive public testimony concerning the legislative implementation of Public Question No. 1 on the General Election ballot, which, if approved, would legalize cannabis for personal, non-medical use by adults age 21 years or older. Public Question No. 1 would also create a legalized cannabis marketplace overseen by the State’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission.”

New Jersey Cannabis Law Implementation

Many think it will take at least a year, if not 18 months. Nevada and Illinois implemented their adult-use cannabis market in about six months. It took California and Massachusetts about two years to do so.

The fact that the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) has yet to be seated will likely delay cannabis implementation significantly. Of the five members, only the one given to State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) has been identified. Most expect Jeff Brown who oversees the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program (NJMMP) to have a similar role on the CRC. The CRC was outlined as part of the Jake Honig Act which passed last summer. It has been delayed as part of the lawsuit. It’s also delaying the NJ Department of Health from issuing 24 licenses.

The Cannabis Domino Effect

People expect if New Jersey legalizes by referendum, PA will it push during the lame-duck session aggressively. New York will then follow in spring.

This is very interesting. A lot of the revenue projections for NJ cannabis are based on people visiting the state to buy cannabis. But if NY and PA have their own dispensaries, how many are people going to visit?

If New Jersey opens their market first, then they will seize the market share, especially if high-quality products are available.

That would require a complete 180-degree turn from the languid pace of change in New Jersey regarding cannabis implementation.

Not that it would not be welcomed. On the contrary.

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