New Jersey Lawmakers To Debate Legalization Bill

By Benjie Cooper

IG: @nuglifenews

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Only days after New Jersey governor Phil Murphy signed a bill to permit industrial hemp cultivation, legislators in the Garden State are quickly preparing to tackle the issue of cannabis legalization.

On Monday, the budget committees for both the state Senate and Assembly are scheduled to debate and vote on the New Jersey Marijuana Legalization Act, a bill to legalize the cultivation, distribution, sale, possession, and consumption of marijuana by adults over the age of 21.

The measure, also known as S2703, would create up to 218 licenses for retail outlets and allow for the operation of retail marijuana consumption areas where customers may purchase and consume their cannabis products at the same location, like they would at a bar.

Upon its passage, the bill would establish the Division of Marijuana Enforcement and create the licensing system for cannabis businesses.

The bill, which was originally introduced in June, would allow for the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis flower, seven grams of concentrates, and up to six immature plants. Retail sales would initially be taxed at a rate of ten percent, and then escalate five percent annually for four years.

The measure would also allow for qualified people with cannabis convictions on their record to apply for expungement.

Following a successful vote on Monday, the bill will then be sent to the Senate and then the House before potentially landing on the governor’s desk for a final signature of authorization.