If the deal becomes law, New Jersey would join 10 other states and the District of Columbia with legal adult-use cannabis. It could also attract a flock of visitors from neighboring New York, where lawmakers are considering adult-use legalization but appear increasingly likely to miss a key legislative deadline and be forced to return to the issue next year.
The New Jersey leaders say the deal would set up an expedited record expungement process for people convicted of low-level marijuana crimes. They say the proposal also would bar certain marijuana offenses from being considered in certain sectors, like education, housing and job licensing.
The measure also aims at getting cannabis industry participation for minorities and women, the leaders said.
Unlike earlier versions of the legislation that called for phasing in an escalating sales tax on marijuana, the deal calls for a $42 per ounce tax on the product.