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NJ Is One Step Closer to Recreational Marijuana

Preliminary vote passes

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S2703, born out of the "New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act" (Say that 5x fast!!), was finally voted on by New Jersey lawmakers.

The final name of the bill is now the "New Jersey Marijuana Legalization Act."


On Monday, legislators in New Jersey had the chance to square off over the revisions to S2703. While it did pass the first vote later that day, it became clear that there were some major hurdles in the way of the bill being enacted.

Some of the hot button issues include the excise tax, the expungement of convictions related to marijuana, and how to best serve the communities that were most negatively impacted by the prohibition of cannabis.

Within the Department of Treasury, there will be a Division of Marijuana Enforcement which will have control over the newly regulated cannabis industry.

There are 4 categories of licenses available:

Class 1 - Marijuana Grower License for the premises at which the marijuana is grown or cultivated.

Class 2 - Marijuana Processor License for the premises at which the marijuana is processed.

Class 3 - Marijuana Wholesaler License for the premises at which the marijuana is warehoused.

Class 4 - Marijuana Retailer License for the premises at which the marijuana is retailed.

You can possess up to an ounce of dried cannabis flower, up to seven grams of concentrates and six immature cannabis plants, as long as you are over 21 years old.

Cannabis delivery services can be established and operate in areas that allow the possession and sale of marijuana.

Local municipalities have the right to ban cannabis within their jurisdiction.

It is unlawful for people under the age of 21 to possess, manufacture or sell cannabis. The only exception to unlawful possession is if this violation comes to light as the result of a call for medical assistance to emergency services. These types of laws are in are already in place all over the country, in response to the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the nation.

The updates to S2703 also allow for the creation of social lounges where visitors can consume cannabis outside of their home without fear of prosecution by law enforcement. These lounges must not be inside retail marijuana shops, but can be on the same property.

One of main points of contention between NJ lawmakers is the provision regarding the taxation of cannabis. The bill calls for an excise tax starting at 10% in year one, with yearly increases until it reaches 25% at the end of year 4 of the adult use market opening.

Governor Murphy, who has made legalization a major platform of his campaign, is adamant that the tax stay at 25% but many of his fellow Democrats are just as sure it should not be more than 12%. As of today, the Governor has not commented on whether he will support this new version of the bill.

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MA Banks Partner With Retail Pot Businesses

(Story Developing....)

In a story first reported by Boston Business Journal, BayCoast bank became the first bank to announce a partnership with a retail marijuana business in the State of Massachusetts.

Until this point, banks have been willing to work with dispensaries on the medical side of the business, but for the most part have avoided getting involved in retail partnerships. However, there are several adult use shops that claim to have banks accepting their deposits, they are just unwilling to disclose the names of these institutions for obvious reasons.

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Cuomo's Aide: "Green New Deal" On the Way

Plan for adult use market set to be announced

According to a report by the New York Post, Governor Andrew Cuomo is set to announce the details of his plan to create a recreational marijuana market in the State of New York during next Month's Executive Budget Address.

Last spring, Cuomo announced that he was going to begin looking into the possibilities of creating an adult use cannabis market in New York, including all the potential negative and positive consequences that could arise as a result. This was a drastic reversal from his opinion that marijuana is a dangerous "gateway drug", only a few years ago.

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Connecticut Expands Medical Marijuana Program

Issues 9 new licenses

Yesterday, the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) issued a press release announcing the names and locations of the recipients of nine new licenses for the state of Connecticut's medical marijuana program (MMJ sales first started in 2014)

Competition for these new licenses was fierce, with the DCP receiving 73 applications, all hoping to be a part of this latest expansion.

This brings the total of licensed dispensaries in the state to 18, doubling since the program last expanded in 2016.

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Utah At War Over Weed

Mormon Church Intervenes

While the people of Utah have spoken (when they voted to legalize medical marijuana last month), apparently the government is not listening.

In a stunning reversal of the will of the people, Utah has scrapped the bill passed by voters and replaced it with a gutted, muted down version of the original proposal.

Prop 2, the ballot initiative designed to create a medical marijuana market in Utah, was initially passed during the November election. However, immediately following the vote, it became clear a legal battle was on the way. With the mormon church making it clear they had serious grievances with some aspects of the proposal, legislators on both sides of government conveyed similar concerns.

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