A bill to legalize adult cannabis use and establish a regulated retail industry in New Jersey has made it out of committee after state lawmakers in both the Assembly and the Senate voted yesterday to advance the measure. The vote came at the end of a contentious, day-long public hearing on the bill that attracted more than 200 people. And it represents the first official legislative action on adult-use cannabis legalization since Governor Phil Murphy took office in January.
Legal Cannabis Bill Clears Committee, But Still Has to Clear a Few Hurdles
New Jersey state bill S2703, the “Marijuana Legalization Act,” would establish broad limits for consumers and the retail industry and prioritize criminal legal reforms for those most impacted by prohibition and criminalization. Despite several moments of sharp debate during yesterday’s hearing, lawmakers in both chambers approved the bill. The 13-member Senate budget committee tallied seven votes in favor with four opposed and two abstentions. The bill faired slightly better in the Assembly, with the 10-member budget panel voting 7-2 in favor with one abstaining.
The next stop for S2703 is a full floor vote in both the Senate and the Assembly. And if it passes, it will head