New Jersey saw immense progress in 2018, though no certain milestones have been reached just yet. The year began with staunchly anti-cannabis Governor Chris Christie succeeded by a pro-cannabis governor, Phil Murphy. Murphy swore to legalize adult use within the first 100 days of his term. This did not occur. Instead, cities like Point Pleasantand Tom’s River announced plans to ban medical and/or recreational sales.
February saw the state propose a decriminalization bill. Another bill followed in March. This one centers on home growing and the allowance of 400 legal dispensaries. That same month saw the state expand access to its medical program. By the spring, rumors of legalization were heating up. In April, the state Attorney General acknowledged that law enforcement was preparing for the changing laws.
The rest of the year consisted of steady progress towards completing the bill. However, in December, state lawmakers announced that the bill will not go up for a vote in the final days of 2018. Rather, it appears that the state is poised to become the 11th state to legalize in early 2019 – becoming the second to follow in Vermont’s path.