September 19, 2018, New Jersey
As promised by Gov. Phil Murphy, the state of New Jersey is moving forward to legalize adult-use cannabis. According to analysts, the state legislators have drafted an impressively progressive legalization bill. The local legislators are hopeful that the bill will be passed by the bicameral legislature. If the bill gets approved, it will change the cannabis landscape of the entire region.
The basis of the draft, like any other legalization bill, is to legalize buying, possession, and consumption of a small amount of cannabis for adults 21 and above. The bill also entails the development of a functioning commercial market of the strain. However, some unique stipulations are also part of the bill. Let’s have a look.
According to the retrieved copy of the bill by local news outlets, the cannabis retail tax would be around 10 percent. The earlier drafts called for retail taxes somewhere between 15 to 20 percent.
Immediate enforcement of retail operations
In many legal states, there were initial periods where it was legal to possess and consume pot, but nowhere to get it legally. New Jersey lawmakers have taken care of this glitch. Therefore, the bill entails quick accomplishment of retail cannabis market.
Public consumption spaces
The proposed New Jersey’s legalization bill also permits the development of dedicated consumption spaces for the strain. Cannabis dispensaries will be allowed to have a separate consumption space after getting the approval from state and local authorities. This is another lingering issue in many legal states where people can’t consume cannabis outside their homes because there are no dedicated sites for this purpose.
Home delivery services
The new bill also calls for the development of a home delivery system. With the system in place, consumers would be able to get both recreational and therapeutic cannabis at their doorstep. Home delivery services will help in curbing the operations of the black market by making legal cannabis more accessible.
It is important to note that the lawmakers have taken a really conscious approach in devising the propositions for issuing licenses to cannabis businesses. For instance, the bill specifies that one-fourth of all commercial licenses to be only issued to minorities, veterans and women applicants. In addition, 10 percent of all licenses must be given to small businesses. This provision is also added to make the commercial cannabis space a level playing field. Lastly, applicants from the ‘impact zones’ will be favored by the state regulators. The bill defines these zones as the areas with relatively higher unemployment rates.
While the legalization of recreational cannabis is definitely on its way, the state is also mulling over different methods to expunge past cannabis-related minor convictions. Expungement of past cannabis-related criminal record is essential for any state that is going to put blanket legalization into effect.
It’s not certain yet that this particular bill will become a part of the legislation. Nevertheless, lawmakers who have written the bill are really positive.
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]