The decision by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission last week to delay recreational marijuana sales at medical dispensaries is not sitting well with everyone. Senate President Nick Scutari, who sponsored both the medical and recreational cannabis laws, called the decision “totally unacceptable” and is planning to form a special legislative committee to review the delay.
Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin
Parents must be notified if their minor child unlawfully possesses or buys marijuana under a bill lawmakers advanced Wednesday, not even a month since Gov. Phil Murphy signed cannabis legislation that explicitly prohibited parental notification.
The measure appears to be on a fast track, coming after concerns that the law left parents in the dark. Spokespeople for Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Senate President Steve Sweeney said they support the measure, and Murphy, a fellow Democrat, said earlier this month that he supported the idea of parental notification.
Gov. Phil Murphy’s deadline to act on legislation setting up New Jersey’s recreational marijuana market has been extended a second time. Murphy had to act by Thursday, but lawmakers pushed the date to Friday amid concerns over a winter storm. Earlier this month, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin moved the deadline to Thursday from Feb. 8.
The first-term Democratic governor and the Democrat-led Legislature have been talking about changes to the legislation behind closed doors.
Lawmakers are rallying around new legislation that may earn the approval of the Murphy administration. This proposed legislation would create civil penalties and warnings for underage users of the drug – a chief concern of Gov. Phil Murphy who has said that the state Legislature's initial plan didn't restrict underage adults and children for using the drug.
The new legislation, however, would effectively end searches of underaged people who are under suspicion of using or possessing the drug. Smelling the drug's odor would also not be a valid reason to investigate.
Murphy, speaking during a news conference on Monday, said he's had a "good back and forth" and that he's hopeful that any issues can be resolved soon.
Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin extended the deadline to Feb. 18, allowing the Senate to "complete its discussions and conclude negotiations with the Assembly and governor on revisions to the cannabis legislation."
The legislation would address Murphy's concerns that the state Legislature's bill doesn't penalize underage adults and children for using the drug.
Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge) announced he would recommend former Verizon vice president of external affairs Sam Delgado to sit on the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission Friday.
“Sam Delgado’s professional and military service is outstanding and I strongly believe he is the best person to serve on the Cannabis Regulatory Commission,” Coughlin said. “Sam is an expert in the fields of community leadership, business management, strategic planning, supplier diversity and regulatory policy. He will bring these talents to the Commission and is a valued addition.”
With just a few days left for Gov. Phil Murphy and Democratic lawmakers to fulfill voters' wishes to legalize marijuana, they've gotten hung up on details that could add yet another delay to what's been years of failures and setbacks to bring the drug to the marketplace.
Murphy said Monday that there were "technical but important" issues with a bill to decriminalize marijuana that the Legislature sent him earlier this month.
It’s a fair bet that in New Jersey, when Democrats in power start talking about “diversity,” they’re simultaneously sticking it to minorities. In this case, marijuana legalization provided the forum in which to do damage as those same individuals used as part of a pre-Election Day human barricade in the name of social justice found themselves summarily scrapped post Election Day as that apparently unnecessary ingredient in legislative leadership’s pro-business bonanza.
Is weed decriminalized in NJ? More to come
For over one month, legislators and activists have sparred — often within their own groups — over what comes next for legal weed.
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act would essentially set the rules and framework for regulations for a legal cannabis industry.
It looks like lawmakers could be inching closer to finalizing the legal framework for recreational marijuana with yet another compromise now on the table: to remove a last-minute addition that would lower penalties for so-called magic mushrooms.