August 31, 2018, New Jersey
After the gubernatorial transition in New Jersey, the progress on cannabis reforms has been significantly improved. The state legislature is trying to work out two bills that have the potential to transform the local cannabis industry. Some of the noteworthy provisions of these bills include:
- Allowing home delivery services for cannabis products
- Removal of cap on MMJ dispensaries
- Automatic expunction of past cannabis-related convictions
- Last but not the least, the legalization of adult-use marijuana
From past several weeks, state lawmakers are ironing out the provisions of these bills. According to Joseph Danielson, a Democrat lawmaker, there are a lot of moving parts and it will certainly take time to come up with the drafts acceptable for all concerned parties. It is important to mention that lawmakers are devising these bills with the conjecture that they have unreserved support of Gov. Murphy. Cannabis advocates also think that the bills, once prepared and approved by both houses, won’t experience any opposition from the Governor’s Office.
As per media reports, legislatures have reached a consensus on some of the provisions of these drafts. For instance, the proposal to establish a cannabis advisory commission for the regulation of medicinal and adult-use operations has been supported by both sides of the aisle. The structure and detailed role of the commission has yet to be discussed and outlined. Lawmakers are also considering setting up home delivery services for both adult-use and medical cannabis. Home delivery services of MMJ products are essential for bedridden patients who are not attended by caregivers all the time.
Similarly, lawmakers are also contemplating on removing the cap on the number of licensed cannabis stores. Earlier this year, a bill proposing the cap of 120 dispensaries was presented in the legislature. However, it couldn’t succeed in getting the required support from lawmakers. The bill was rejected in the light of rapidly increasing legal marijuana operations of the state. It was decided that the number of licensed dispensaries will be determined by the regulators according to the ongoing demand-supply equation in the legal cannabis market.
Expungement of cannabis criminal records is also on cards
It is now an unspoken rule that decriminalization of cannabis is a prerequisite for the legalization of its recreational use. New Jersey lawmakers are also trying to take the same route. For that matter, the provision of decriminalization is also part of one the drafts. It seems like New Jersey lawmakers are closely following the decriminalization process in other states, which are being criticized for their slow processing and high cost. Therefore, they categorically want the process of decriminalization immediate, efficient and cost-effective.
Besides these vital propositions, the legislature is also discussing to introduce micro-license for small marijuana ventures. Some lawmakers have also suggested introducing a program to promote diversity in the budding cannabis industry.
It is pretty evident that all these provisions, if becomes part of the legislation, will take the New Jersey’s cannabis program to new ‘highs’.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]