The new draft of the 163-page "New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act" spells out all the details of a possible new marijuana industry: everything from the types of ingredients that must be listed on the packaging of cannabis products sold in the Garden State, to the salaries of the five commissioners who would be charged with overseeing the industry if the bill gets the General Assembly's approval. (Up to $141,000 for the chair, and up to $125,000 for each of the other four commissioners.)
Gov. Phil Murphy, who campaigned on a promise to legalize cannabis in New Jersey, and legislative leaders — Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin — are aiming for a March 25 vote on making New Jersey the next state to make cannabis legal. Marijuana remains an illegal drug under federal law, but 10 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis sales and use, and New York is considering it.
But some legislators outright oppose the bill, saying it will harm African-American communities. Because of issues like this, all three Democrats acknowledge they will need to work hard in the next week to secure the votes needed. Murphy has said it will create jobs and bring in revenue.