Exciting news coming from the state legislature in New Jersey this week, after Senate President Steve Sweeney said he may be able to pass legislation to legalize recreational marijuana (New Jersey already has a medicinal cannabis program).
Politico ran a story highlighting the upcoming challenges for the Jersey legislature, including figuring out the appropriate tax levels to discourage the black market, expunging criminal convictions for marijuana-related offenses, and possibly adding opioid addiction to the list of conditions under the state's medicinal cannabis program.
It will be interesting to see how the proposed legislation plays out. Sweeney has expressed interest to work with Republicans, who have supported the medicinal but not recreational push. Hopefully, patients in New Jersey will have greater access to cannabis-based products and not be taxed to death for them. The proposed 25% tax rate from Governor Phil Murphy is extreme, and hurts low income patients who may not qualify for the medicinal program.
Let's hope New Jersey takes the time to do this correctly, it is better to take the time to write great law, than rush and spend years trying to change it.