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A New Jersey Senate committee approved a pair of bills on Thursday that would allow licensed marijuana businesses to deduct certain expenses on their state tax returns, a partial remedy as the industry continues to be blocked from making federal deductions under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code known as 280E.
The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee took up companion measures from its chamber and from the Assembly, making them identical before advancing them in a unanimous vote.
Lawmakers in New Jersey advanced amended legislation on Thursday to enact a regulated marijuana market in the state, although new differences between Assembly and Senate versions of the proposal mean that further negotiations will be needed before anything can be enacted.
More than two-thirds of New Jersey voters passed a referendum on Election Day to legalize cannabis for adults, but state lawmakers still have to pass legislation to establish rules for the new system before legal sales can begin.
The State Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee approved an adult-use cannabis bill Monday after a standing-room-only hearing that lasted nearly five hours and featured a back-and-forth between pro- and anti-marijuana testimony.
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act (S2703) passed on a 7-4 vote with two abstentions by the Senate committee and 7-2 vote with one abstention by the Assembly committee.