Back in March, we reported that both houses of the New Jersey legislature chose to postpone voting on the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act, which would legalize recreational cannabis for Garden State residents 21 and over.
Now, that bill is dead for good. But it’s not the end for legal cannabis in New Jersey.
As NJ.com reports, Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) stated he was “disappointed” in the outcome, while speaking at a news conference in Trenton. “The votes just aren’t there” to pass the bill, he said. Instead, the legalization question will be put to New Jersey voters in a ballot question in fall 2020. Given that a majority of New Jersey residents support legal pot, the ballot question should pass.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) - who campaigned on a promise to legalize marijuana - said he had a "mixed reaction" and was "trying to digest the pieces".
In the meantime, lawmakers will work to pass two other cannabis-related bills.
Bill S10 would grow New Jersey’s medical marijuana program by increasing the amount of weed patients can legally get, as well as expanding the list of eligible conditions and available dispensaries.
Bill A4498, meanwhile, would allow people to expunge small marijuana convictions 10 years from the date they’re released, completed probation or parole.