Recreational Marijuana Set for 2020
New Jersey decided to pause its efforts to legalize recreational cannabis in May 2019 after failing to secure enough votes in the Senate to pass the bill — a move that spurred a similar move in New York. Lawmakers instead plan to put the measure to vote during the 2020 general election in a move that would mirror that of many other states.
Illinois is one of the few states that passed cannabis legalization through legislative means rather than a ballot measure. New York and New Jersey hoped to do the same but could not reach a consensus on the bills. The 2020 ballot initiative would involve voters actively instructing lawmakers to pass cannabis legalization measures.
During the 2019 session, lawmakers still plan to move forward with bills designed to expand its medical cannabis program and expunge existing marijuana convictions. These social justice and medical initiatives could pave the way for recreational legalization by establishing the Cannabis Regulatory Commission, which will ultimately regulate both markets.