Poll: New Jersey Supports Legalization, Social Equity, & Consumption Lounges

Recent polling suggests that 66 percent of New Jersey voters support cannabis legalization; pollsters also logged majority support for social-use consumption lounges and for writing social equity provisions into the state’s future industry.

Full story after the jump.

A poll from the Cannabis Law Practice of law firm Brach Eichler found 66 percent of New Jersians support broad cannabis legalization in the state, with 27 percent opposed and 7 percent unsure.

Last December, New Jersey lawmakers approved legislation that will see voters decide whether to enact the reforms in the Garden State in November, and the poll found 71 percent of respondents were aware of the impending vote while 29 percent were not aware.

A Monmouth University poll in April found similar support – 66 percent – among potential voters for the reforms, with 34 percent opposed.

A slight majority of respondents (55 percent) polled by Brach Eichler said recreational cannabis should be taxed at a higher rate than the current 6.625 percent sales tax, while 30 percent opposed a higher rate.

Charles X. Gormally, Co-Chair of the Cannabis Law Practice, said that while “most people don’t favor higher taxes,” the polling “reflects both an awareness of the fiscal needs of the State, as well as an understanding that other states that have legalized cannabis have imposed taxes and surcharges of up to 25 percent.” He added that voters polled want cannabis-derived tax revenues for drug awareness and education.

A strong majority of those polled indicated New Jersey’s cannabis industry should have a strong social equity component, with 74 percent saying officials should ensure minorities have fair and equal access to licensing; 12 percent were opposed, and 14 percent were unsure.

“This reflects the increasing national awareness and growing concern about how minority groups have been disproportionately impacted by the failed policy of cannabis prohibition. Meaningful minority group participation in the ownership of new cannabis businesses is a direct and credible way to address this longstanding social justice concern.” – Gormally in a press release

The survey found support for social-use lounges split 47 percent in favor to 41 percent opposed. A survey in July by the practice found 50 percent in favor with 39 percent opposed. Both polls found 12 percent were undecided.

New Jersians also narrowly supported municipal control over cannabis sales, 45 percent to 39 percent, with 16 percent unsure.

The majority of respondents from all political leanings supported the reforms, including 77 percent of Democrats (18 percent opposed), 56 percent of Republicans (37 percent opposed), and 58 percent of independents (32 percent opposed).

The poll was conducted by DKC Analytics and surveyed 500 registered New Jersey voters from August 5 to August 13, 2020. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

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