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Gov. Phil Murphy

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New Jersey Lawmakers Reach Tax Consensus, Legalization Can Advance

A months-long disagreement between prominent state Democrats over cannabis legalization details has come to an end, reports indicate, and cannabis legalization legislation may move forward in New Jersey.

Full story after the jump.

Negotiations regarding cannabis legalization between New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) have completed successfully, according to an App report.

The political disagreements between the two have held up cannabis legalization in New Jersey since last year, despite the fact that a bill was already expected to have been signed into law at this point. Wrangling between medical cannabis bills, full adult legalization, and the potential tax rate on both programs was the primary source of disagreement.

According to sources close to lawmakers, the agreement was reached when both parties agreed to manage cannabis taxes by weight instead of taking a percentage of sales, as most states with legalization have done. Under the agreement, cannabis would be taxed at a flat rate of $42 per ounce. The agreement would also grant the governor’s office additional control over the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission, which would be created under the legalization plan.

With a tentative deal reached, lawmakers now must finalize the legislation and bring it to the full state legislature for approval. First, however, Gov. Murphy said he needs to approach several undecided lawmakers about the issue, as Democrat leaders do not want to bring forward a bill that they don’t expect to pass.

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