(This story has been updated with further comments from state Senate President Stephen Sweeney and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.)
New Jersey legislators are abandoning their existing efforts to legalize recreational cannabis, state Senate President Stephen Sweeney stated in a tweet Wednesday – at least temporarily dashing the hopes of MJ companies primed to money in on an East Coast legalization wave.
Sweeney’s comments are not a surprise offered the difficulty that Gov. Phil Murphy, Sweeney and other folks seasoned as they attempted to round up adequate votes to pass the measure.
We will move forward with the expansion of our health-related cannabis system as effectively as the progressive social justice reforms in the expungement legislation. We will not, nonetheless, pursue the legalization of adult use marijuana at this time.
— Steve Sweeney (@NJSenatePres) May 15, 2019
Lawmakers canceled a vote in late March when Murphy wasn’t in a position to persuade adequate legislators to vote for legalization.
Sweeney stated he would as an alternative appear to voters to legalize adult-use marijuana in 2020.
To get on the ballot, 3-fifths of lawmakers have to approve the proposed referendum, or a very simple majority of lawmakers have to approve it in two consecutive years.
It is unclear how the amendment would be worded and which path would be pursued.
Speaking at an unrelated news conference Wednesday, Murphy stated he had a “mixed reaction” to Sweeney’s announcement.
“It’s challenging to do it legislatively, I admit,” Murphy stated about adult-use legalization.
“One state in the history of our nation has carried out it and that is Vermont, and we’re a lot much more difficult than Vermont. It is normally been a default to go to a referendum and ask the individuals.”
New Jersey has articulated a Strategy B: Expand its quickly-expanding health-related marijuana industry.
Sweeney stated the health-related marijuana expansion would involve rising the quantity of dispensaries, which at the moment stands at six but is in the method of doubling, and phasing out the state’s sales tax on MMJ.
Murphy’s administration announced this week new MMJ guidelines aimed at rising business enterprise possibilities, patient access and qualifying health-related situations.
The guidelines involve separate permitting systems for dispensaries, processors and growers, which most likely will open up the state’s existing, much more vertically integrated structure.
Current forecasts estimated the industry will need 15 further growers and 50-90 dispensaries by 2022.
– Marijuana Business enterprise Each day and Linked Press