September 18, 2018
The push for legal recreational marijuana in New Jersey is nearing a crucial stretch, and the latest iteration of the bill that could end up legalizing weed in the Garden State outlines a few interesting differences from other legal-weed states.
A copy of the latest bill – obtained by NJ Advance Media and subject to plenty of changes before an actual vote – proposes a 10 percent marijuana tax, which would tie Nevada for the lowest tax in the country.
The bill includes rules — a 21-year-old age limit, for instance — that seemed obvious, but it also includes the wild idea of making marijuana deliveries legal, which isn’t the case in every state.
The latest bill would also allow businesses with marijuana retail licenses to apply for a “consumption space,” which would allow a space, separate from the dispensary, for legal smoking. What a time to be alive.
A big part of the latest bill is the establishment of a five-person Cannabis Regulatory Commission, which would be in charge of plenty of rule-making. The five commission members would be appointed by the governor – three with Senate consent, one with the Senate president’s consent, and one with the Assembly speaker’s consent.
The latest bill doesn’t set a limit on how many licenses the commission can issue to interested businesses. It does, however, mandate that the state set aside 25 percent of licenses for businesses owned by women, minorities, or veterans.
Alas, the latest bill would not legalize home-grown marijuana.
NJ Advance Media reports lawmakers expect to make small changes before introducing this bill to the Legislature. Senate President Stephen Sweeney told NJ Advance Media it’s unlikely to pass before October.