Legalization has finally passed the New Jersey legislature. It remains to be seen what happens next with the details and the on the local level.
Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) proposed another referendum. That would be to guarantee money derived from cannabis sales goes toward social programs and the police. However, neither Governor Phil Murphy, Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex), nor any advocacy groups have endorsed the proposal. That means it will likely die.
“New Jersey voters spoke out. I am hopeful that we are beginning a new era for our state,” said the Reverend Dr. Charles Boyer. “We look forward to Governor Murphy signing this bill into law expeditiously. This legislation alone will not end New Jersey’s history of institutional racism. But this is a critical step in our path forward. There can be no more delays in the progress to legalize and decriminalize cannabis.”
“We look forward to taking part in the new adult-use marketplace while still protecting access to affordable medical cannabis for New Jersey’s100,000 registered patients,” the New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association (NJCTA) said in a statement.
They recognized there is still much work to be done in making New Jersey’s adult-use cannabis program the best in the nation.
“We look forward to engaging with lawmakers, regulators, and activists over the coming months to help make that happen,” they added.
New Jersey Towns Make Decisions
Hoboken is continuing to tout itself as a center of the nascent cannabis industry in New Jersey.
The City Council requested that Hudson County municipalities near New York City be permitted to generate sufficient revenue above the two percent tax rate.
“In Hudson County as a whole and Hoboken specifically, we anticipate needing additional community resources associated with legal cannabis sales. Because of our proximity to New York City, where adult-use marijuana is not yet legal,” two council members said in a statement.
It’s highly unlikely their results will come to fruition.
In addition, West Milford is also seeking to welcome cannabis businesses to its streets. Their town council passed a resolution on Wednesday allowing a variety of cannabis businesses to be established.
It was supported by Councilman-elect Michael Chazukow, a Republican who has been very active with NORML in New Jersey. While Donald Trump recently won the town, so did the legalization referendum. While West Milford might restrict where a cannabis business could be opened in town, that’s quite logical. A lot of businesses are restricted where they can open from zoning laws.
Towns in South Jersey are also eyeing the prospect of allowing a cannabis business inside their borders warily.