News Flash


Posted on: March 15, 2019

Update on Marijuana Legalization: Leadership Consensus

On Tuesday, the Governor, the Senate President, the Assembly Speaker, Senator Nick Scutari, and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano announced that they have reached consensus on the provisions of legislation to legalize recreational, adult use marijuana. The Assembly Appropriation and Senate Judiciary Committees will consider the legislation on Monday, March 18, and it is anticipated that both bills will be scheduled for final floor votes on Monday, March 25. It appears, however, that the measure does not yet have sufficient support in either house, so passage this month remains uncertain.

 The League is reviewing draft bill language and will provide more commentary after Monday. At this point, we can advise you of the following provisions:

 1) The State tax will be $42/ounce imposed at the cultivation stage.

2) The local option tax will be the following:

a. 3% for retail

b. 2% cultivation

c. 2% manufacturing

d. 1% wholesale

3) State oversight will be administered by a Commission. This body will include three

    members appointed by the Governor, and the remaining two will be appointed by the

    Governor upon the recommendation of the Senate President and Assembly Speaker,


4) The expungement process will include a “virtual expungement” that will prevent

     certain marijuana offenses from being considered, “…in certain areas such as

     education, housing, and occupational licensing.” There will also be established an

     “expedited expungement” process for individuals with low-level marijuana offenses.

The League, as you know, has advocated for a higher local option than the 2% originally contemplated and has worked closely with the Urban Mayors Association on the expungement and restorative justice provisions. Currently, the bill allows for the automatic eligibility for expungement of convictions for possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana. There remain concerns regarding an individual’s cost of seeking expungement, which can be time-consuming, complicated, and burdensome.  

Contact: Michael F. Cerra, Assistant Executive Director,, 609-695-3481, x120.

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