The nearly-finished New Jersey cannabis legalization bill reportedly contains measures allowing for delivery services and public smoking lounges, according to an NJ.com report.
If the bill is approved, New Jersey would become the first U.S. state to allow for cannabis consumption outside of a private residence. The proposal would establish a taxed-and-regulated cannabis marketplace with business licenses and regulations handled by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission.
The bill — which lawmakers say has a good chance of passing — also includes a cannabis tax rate of just 10 percent, which is the lowest in the country, so far.
Unfortunately, the bill does not allow for cannabis home grows, which are a “nonstarter” for lawmakers, according to the report. The bill is also currently lacking language for the expungement of previous cannabis convictions, but previous legalization proposals in New Jersey have contained some effort to undo the harms of prohibition and lawmakers say they intend to either add expungement language to this bill or introduce an accompanying bill that will address the issue.
If the bill is passed and signed into law, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission will have 180 days to adopt rules and regulations, after which regulators will have just 30 days to issue the industry’s first licenses.
Lawmakers suspect the bill will undergo several hearings before it is put to a vote. New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said the bill probably has enough votes to succeed but, at this point, he doesn’t expect the bill to pass before October.
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