New Jersey governor formally unveils agreement on adult-use cannabis bill

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders formally announced Tuesday they’ve agreed on legislation to legalize recreational marijuana that would call for a $42-per-ounce tax on the product.

The governor and two fellow Democrats, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Senate President Steve Sweeney, announced in a statement the agreement had been reached after more than a year of negotiations, mostly behind closed doors.

The formal announcement followed reports last month of a tentative agreement.

How much to tax the adult-use industry had held up the end of the negotiations.

It’s unclear whether enough votes exist in the Democratic-controlled Legislature to pass the bill. Sweeney has said he would need Murphy’s help to get enough votes in the Senate for legalization.

The Assembly is expecting a committee vote on the deal on March 18. A floor vote is possible March 25.

Here were some other details announced Tuesday:

  • Municipalities with cannabis retailers would collect a 3% tax, those with cultivators would get 2% and those with wholesalers would take in 1%.
  • The measure calls for a five-member regulatory commission, with the governor appointing three members. The other two would be picked on the advice of the Senate president and Assembly speaker.
  • Provisions would encourage minority- and women-owned businesses.

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily