Legislation to legalize recreational use of cannabis is finalized; here are details

By Anjalee Khemlani

A bill to legalize recreational use of marijuana was finalized by the governor and legislative leaders Wednesday night.

The 168-page bill, obtained by ROI-NJ, includes provisions for setting up the cannabis industry and social justice provisions — including expungement — to help those who have been prosecuted over the issue previously.

(Read a copy of the bill below.)

Bills — one will originate in both the state Senate and the Assembly — are expected to be taken up in the Legislature as soon as this week. They are expected to be voted on by the end of the month.

If the measure is signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy, it is projected to net the state $60 million for Fiscal Year 2020, according to the governor’s budget proposal.

The legislation, worked on by Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge), would allow for the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis to be used in private homes — government-subsidized housing is still barred — and defined consumption establishments, which will include outdoor seating areas.

The bill sets up a taxable industry of growers, processors, wholesalers, distributors and retailers. A tax of $42 will be imposed on growers for each ounce of marijuana grown in the state.

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