Adult Use of Recreational Marijuana
The provisions of S-2703/A-4497 include:
- Legalizes up to an ounce of marijuana for possession and sale but only for those over 21 years of age;
- Creates a five-member regulatory cannabis commission;
- Sets a state tax rate at 12%, inclusive of the existing sales tax;
- Permits municipalities to implement a 2% local excise tax, which would be in addition to the state tax*;
- Permits municipalities to “opt-out” and prohibit any cannabis establishment within 180 days of the passage of the commission’s initial regulations and will need to re-visited every five years;
- Implements a process to expunge the records of people charged with marijuana-related crimes;
- Provides a reimbursement mechanism to municipalities for expungement and training for Drug Recognition Experts (DRE); and
- Allows for expungement eligibility, with most details to be addressed in separate legislation.
*As you know, the League continues to make the case that, if the State is to legalize marijuana, the local option tax should be higher than is contemplated in the bill and our recommendation, based on outreach and research, is that 5% is more appropriate.
Expansion of Medical Marijuana
The joint Legislative committees also advanced A-10 and S-10, which revise the regulatory structure for the State’s medical cannabis program. The bill would shift the primary administration of the medical cannabis program from the Department of Health to the Cannabis Regulatory Commission, which is established under the above-referenced bills S-2703/A-4497. The bills would also increase access to and expand licensure for medical cannabis.
Among the other provisions of these bills are:
- Expand access to edible forms of medical cannabis for patients of all ages;
- Permit out-of-state medicinal marijuana patients from the 32 states where it is also legal to buy and consume in New Jersey;
- Shield employees from losing their jobs because they are registered patients; and
- Phase out the 6.625% sales tax over a five-year period.
We will continue to provide additional information and analysis as more information, including amended bills are posted online.
To sign up for the free legislative webinar, please see: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/66245970665041921Contact:
Michael F. Cerra, Assistant Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
or 609-695-3481 x120.