Cannabis foliage inside of a licensed grow operation in Washington state.

Sarah Climaco

Pro-Rec Cannabis Trade Association Forms in New Jersey

A newly formed cannabis trade association is looking toward the end of Gov. Chris Christie’s term with plans on pushing for the legalization of recreational cannabis in the Garden State, according to an report. The New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association is bringing together members of the agriculture, technology, chemistry, and security sectors in order to build support for a bid as early as next year.

The association is founded by Peter Cammarano, a lobbyist and former chief of staff to Sen. Richard Codey. Cammarano did not disclose who would serve on the association’s board.

“In other parts of the country, we are seeing a safe and well-regulated industry that has lifted the regional economy and generated significant tax revenue,” he said in the report. “Our current cannabis laws are ineffective and as a result, New Jersey remains mired in dealing with the effects of a black-market industry.”

In January, former state legislator Scott Rudder announced the creation of the New Jersey Cannabusiness Association. In 2015, another group led by civil rights, public safety, religious, and academic leaders called the New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform was formed and last year released a report that estimated recreational sales in the state could generate $300 million in state tax revenues.

Christie, whose term ends in January, called legalization “beyond stupidity” during remarks to the New Jersey Hospital Association earlier this month.

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