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Pot lounges could soon be coming to New Jersey. Cannabis regulators have given approval to the idea, but it will be a while before anything like this can open for business.
Such public cannabis consumption areas are part of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s commitment to equity, justice and public health, says Chairwoman Dianna Houenou: “Equitable access to cannabis means everyone who wishes to consume has some place they can do that — legally, safely, and responsibly.”
Gov. Phil Murphy has signaled he would be open to letting New Jersey residents allowed to grow their own marijuana.
The remarks came in an answer to a caller on the monthly “Ask Governor Murphy” call-in show on Monday. Some New Jersey residents have been frustrated by the new state law that allows the sale and use of recreational marijuana, but does not allow any amount to be legally grown at home.
The cannabis dispensaries operating now are owned by multi-state corporations, such as Curaleaf, that are heavily invested in the nation’s growing marijuana industry. Mom-and-pop shops barely stand a chance in the current environment, according to accountant Todd Polyniak. He says real estate and start-up capital are the biggest obstacles, and the state needs to help out, especially for social equity applicants.
“It takes money to make money, and a lot of those folks in those categories just don’t have the money to get things going,” Polyniak said.
New Jersey cannabis regulators are proposing three new classes of licenses for the marijuana industry — including one for delivery drivers.
The proposals would expand some rules and put pot on a similar level to alcohol.
Licenses are also being proposed for wholesalers and distributors as part of the next phase of the state’s expansion plan.
New Jersey’s original opening date for recreational sales of cannabis is likely going to get pushed back. Caroline Lewis, reporter for WNYC and the Gothamist, joins to discuss what’s behind the delay and which hurdles will need to be overcome to open store doors.
Wednesday was the first meeting of a legislative panel tasked with sorting out issues related to legalizing recreational marijuana use in Maryland. State House Speaker Adrienne Jones has said to expect a referendum on whether to legalize the drug in the 2022 election.
WYPR’s Rachel Baye watched the meeting and joins Nathan Sterner with some details.
What was the meeting designed to accomplish?
Since 2015, Ed has operated a black market weed shop directly across from City Hall in Trenton. He opened the shop to protest to what he saw as unjust marijuana laws. And now, even though he could apply for a legal license, he doesn’t have faith in the state to equitably give access to potential Black sellers.
New Jerseyans voted overwhelmingly to legalize marijuana in November. But the legislation that would decriminalize marijuana and establish the regulatory structure for the state's marketplace remains unsigned by Governor Phil Murphy
The chair of the New Jersey State Senate Judiciary Committee is under investigation. WNYC has obtained a copy of a subpoena that seeks records relating to Union County’s Nichoas Scutari, whose post gives him the power to confirm the appointments of judges and prosecutors in the state.
At this time in 2019, hopes were high in New York and New Jersey that both states would soon have legal marijuana.
Plans didn’t pan out in either state, though New Jersey residents will be voting on the issue at the ballot box in November.
New York State Sen. Liz Krueger said things are looking up this year in the Empire State, especially now that Gov. Cuomo is fully on board.
“When I talk to legislators who had hesitancy about supporting last year, I find the vast majority of them now feel that their questions have been answered,” Krueger said.