Cannabis delivered. No limits on shops
This state could see cannabis delivery and many more dispensaries than before provided the bill legislators are preparing, manages to make its way through the legislature.
During the last weeks, quite a few lawmakers, some of the most powerful politicians among them, have been preparing a cannabis legislation from the spider web of plans that were previously introduced this year.
The ultimate goal was to get two bills: one for medical marijuana and another for full legalization; that can please Gov. Phil Murphy and gain support from the majority of the Legislature.
After a lot of meetings last week, the lawmakers declared they’ve agreed on most important of the two bills and are getting ready to show them to the Murphy administration in a short period of time.
Basing their opinions on different interviews with several legislators who took part in the negotiations, NJ Advance Media has come to know of some of the key sections of the bills. But the concepts could still change.
“Everything is a guessing game because leadership still has to get the votes.” said Assemblyman Joseph Danielsen, D-Somerset, who has helped to design the bill. “There are a lot of moving parts. It’s like an erector set.”
Here are the most important issues that are being considered:
Could cannabis be delivered?
Cannabis users in New Jersey could be getting marijuana delivered at home; both medical and recreational weed, because the bill allows for both situations. That is the opinion of Danielsen and other legislators close to the bills.
At the beginning of this year, Murphy said a clear “YES” for medical weed deliveries. It was logical in order to make patients able to have access to marijuana. However, what began as a consideration for medical cannabis is now being extended to both medical and recreational cannabis. In the USA only California, Nevada and Oregon allow weed delivery.
Limits on licenses
The latest version of the recreational marijuana bill, introduced in the spring had put cannabis dispensaries limit at 120. But this roof has been removed, according to state Sen. Joe Vitale, D-Middlesex. Now the bill will permit lawmakers to decide the number of licenses that can be issued.
Cannabis proponents refuse a limit written into the bill because provided the number increases in the future, it would need a new approval of the Legislature, which would be a waste of time.
Making the law
“The project envisions the creation of a part-time marijuana advisory commission, which will watch over the medicinal and recreational markets and make recommendations on when and how they should grow.” said Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, the prime sponsor.
“Market forces will decide, but we want it to make sure (the market) runs effectively and there is an adequate product available. I learned my lesson with the medicinal marijuana program, when the (Christie) administration was not on board. We saw a slow-moving program.” he also said. Murphy is very supportive,” but the state has to anticipate future governors may think differently. “ he said.
Scutari stated he sees the commission as “ a role player in “rounding out the specifics on diversity in the licensure process, and for the vetting (of) geographic areas”
“The five-member commission, overseen by the Treasury Department, would not include legislators, as a previous version of the bill had called for. The governor would appoint three members, and the Senate and Assembly would name one each” Nicholas Scutari said.