Volume 8/Issue 11

  • Medical and Adult-use Marijuana Bills Advance through Committees 

Medical and Adult-use Marijuana Bills Advance through Committees

Yesterday, joint legislative committees voted to advance key marijuana-related legislation that would expand and improve the state's existing medical marijuana program and legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis. These bills now head to the full Senate and Assembly for a vote, which could happen as early as mid-December.

Governor Murphy has yet to endorse the pending adult-use marijuana legalization bill, while sponsors indicated that they would be receptive to amendments prior to the final vote.

Highlights of S-2703 include:

  • Legalizes possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana
  • Permits consumption of marijuana in private residences or designated areas
  • Proposes a 12% state tax on marijuana sales
  • Allows for an additional 2% local sales tax for host municipalities 
  • Establishes four industry license categories: Wholesaler (sells to retail); Processor (processes cannabis products and sells to wholesalers/retailers); retailer and grower/cultivator
  • Sets aside 10% of licenses for "micro-businesses" to encourage in-state, small business industry participation
  • Establishes and defines Impact Zones
  • Calls for expungement of marijuana-related crimes
  • Creates the "Cannabis Regulatory Commission," in, but not of, the Department of Treasury, to manage the growth and to regulate the legal cannabis industry

S-10, which also passed out of committee on Monday, would expand the state’s medical marijuana program by increasing the cap on the amount of marijuana a patient could receive per month – from 2 to 3 ounces. The bill also legalizes edible forms of marijuana establishes parameters for the growth of the state’s medical program via licensing.

S-3205 addresses how the state will manage the expungement process. The bill increases the type of crimes eligible for expungement and includes a “clean slate” provision that would remove certain offenses from the record of anyone maintaining a clean record for 10 years after their last offense.