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New Jersey Governor, State Democrats Resolve Cannabis Sticking Points, Likely Paving Way For Legalization Vote Soon

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New Jersey Governor, State Democrats Resolve Cannabis Sticking Points, Likely Paving Way For Legalization Vote Soon
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New Jersey recently made progress in its bid to legalize recreational cannabis in the state.

What Happened

Gov. Phil Murphy and state lawmakers came to agreements on what's considered the final sticking points of the bill. Now, it appears that a vote to make New Jersey the 11th state to legalize adult use cannabis is on the horizon.

The resolution came late Monday night between Murphy and fellow Democrats. With a deal in place, the next goal is to hold a vote in both the Senate and Assembly on March 25. If passed, it would go to the Governor's desk for his signature.

"We applaud the state for developing a program that has the best interests of NJ's citizens in mind with respect to health and safety. We look forward to seeing the details of the bill," said George Allen, President of Acreage Holdings. "The New Jersey market represents a huge opportunity to get this right."

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Why It Matters

New Jersey has been long rumored to pass recreational legislation, however, progress has been stalled by infighting amongst Democrats and other legislative roadblocks.

While social justice issues are a pressing concern, so is the state budget. Like Illinois, New Jersey must rely on the revenue from licensing or taxing legal cannabis to pay its bills. The two states rank no. 49 and no. 50 in credit ratings in the United States.

In Gov. Murphy's budget proposal, it forecasts New Jersey will earn $60 million in cannabis-related tax revenue for the 2020 fiscal year.

What’s Next

With an agreement reached, it appears legalization is now more likely than ever. That said, its passing isn't assured.

The needed votes must still be whipped up while the bill has opposition on both sides of the aisle. Sources for NJ.com reported that the Senate is still six votes short of the needed 21 to pass. In the Assembly, reports are that the measure is three votes short of the required 41 to pass.

Lewis Goldberg, managing partner of KCSA Strategic Communications, forecasted a chain reaction if the state does legalize adult use.

"Once New Jersey goes, expect to see Pennsylvania, Ohio, Connecticut, New York and other states that border these to propose and pass legislation," he said. "No one wants to lose out on tax revenues."

Related Links:

What's The Latest On Legalization in New Jersey?

New Jersey Takes A Step Forward With Marijuana Legalization

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