On Saturday, February 25, Blaze Responsibly, a consulting firm for the legal cannabis industry, and Ayr Wellness, a grower and dispenser of cannabis and cannabis-related products, partnered with Mayor Raymond Giacobbe and the City of Rahway to offer a free "Fresh Start" expungement clinic open to the public. The event took place at Melao Café & Creamery, located at 1425 Irving Street in Rahway.
Criminal Record Expungement
John Turner, owner of Bomaye, a Philadelphia-based company that helps people obtain medical marijuana cards, says his parents inspired him to pursue a career in cannabis.
When Gov. Phil Murphy signed the law empowering New Jersey courts to automatically expunge more than 360,000 criminal convictions involving small amounts of marijuana, social justice advocates considered it a good beginning. But they’re concerned that expungement is not happening as quickly as they had envisioned because of logistical bottlenecks.
Well-known local cannabis attorneys Chirali Patel and Michael Hoffman will also be on hand to offer free legal advice about the New Jersey cannabis application process, license requirements, what it means to be a social equity applicant, whether you should pursue a conditional application, how to get a micro license and more.
When medical cannabis dispensaries hire lobbyists in Trenton, they’re not lobbying for us, the patients. They’re lobbying for themselves, usually against us. For example: to defend their marketshare, NJ’s medical cannabis dispensaries have aggressively lobbied against provisions for the home cultivation of cannabis.
That’s why cultivation remains extremely illegal in NJ where, despite a wildly successful recreational cannabis referendum, you can still go to jail for 5 years for a single pot plant.
On an icy Saturday morning, some 50 people gathered in an upstairs event room at East Orange Public Library. Some kept to themselves and picked up free coffee and iced donuts, while others wondered aloud how the next few months would unfold for them.
Today, they weren’t checking out books. They were receiving free legal assistance to expunge marijuana possession and other charges from their records.
A three-part expungement program twill begin Saturday, February 5, 2022. Phase one will provide attendees with information from the participating law firms on the expungement process while collecting case work information. During phase two, attendees will be matched with an attorney for a one-on-one consultation. In the last phase, petitions for attendees with “qualifying” criminal convictions and dismissed charges will be filed and processed for expungement.
Social justice advocates in New Jersey are flocking together to hold a special, free expungement clinic at Doubletree by Hilton Penn Station Hotel in Newark.
The clinic will be held on Tuesday, September 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time. Those who attend will get free support on how to expunge low-level cannabis convictions now that cannabis is legal in the state.
The New Jersey Judiciary on Monday announced that it has vacated or dismissed nearly 88,000 marijuana cases since July 1, when a decriminalization law took effect that mandated the relief for people who have been caught up in prohibition enforcement.
In a press release, the courts said these are just the first of about 360,000 cannabis cases that are eligible to be automatically vacated, dismissed and expunged. The expungement component of the process will happen “in the coming months.”
New Mexico was set to become the 16th state to legalize recreational marijuana after the Legislature passed a bill on Wednesday, joining a national movement to rethink antidrug laws that are increasingly seen as impediments to racial justice and the economy.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, said she would sign the bill, which would also expunge the criminal records of people who possessed marijuana for personal use. She said in a statement that workers, entrepreneurs and the government would benefit from the new industry, creating jobs and tax revenue.