New Jersey recreational marijuana implementation law signed, setting stage for $1 billion market
Published 5 hours ago | By Jeff Smith
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday finally signed a law to implement a projected $1 billion recreational marijuana market, hours after lawmakers agreed on a “clean-up measure” that had held up the process for months.
Adult-use sales could begin before year-end.
New Jersey is poised to become the largest marijuana market on the East Coast – unless and until New York legalizes adult use.
The New Jersey Senate and Assembly approved a bill that calls for penalties for underage marijuana and alcohol use, a provision that Murphy insisted on before he would sign the implementation measure.
The Assembly passed the “clean-up” bill by a margin of 49-27, while the Senate passed the measure by a 22-12 vote.
New Jersey’s legalization of recreational marijuana – approved by voters on Nov. 3 – is igniting similar efforts across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic and especially puts pressure on neighboring New York and Pennsylvania.
“While we are pleased to see the will of New Jersey voters finally enshrined into approved legislation, it was a grotesque failure on the part of elected leadership that it took so long to do so,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said in a statement.
“Despite nearly seven in (10) New Jersey residents voting in favor of legalization on Election Day, it took lawmakers 111 days following that vote to achieve consensus to enact enabling legislation into law. … It is our hope that lawmakers and regulators going forward implement these laws with a renewed sense of urgency.”