The big three – Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin – today announced an agreement what was described as the broad outlines of a bill that would legalize marijuana use for adults in New Jersey.
* Adult-use marijuana will be subject to an excise tax of $42 per ounce, which will be imposed when marijuana is cultivated.
* Municipalities that are home to a cultivator or manufacturer will receive the revenue from a 2% tax on the product within their jurisdiction.
* Municipalities that are home to a wholesaler will receive the revenue from a 1% tax on the product within their jurisdiction, while municipalities that are home to a retailer will receive the revenue from a 3% tax on the product within their jurisdiction.
* Adult-use marijuana will be governed by a Cannabis Regulatory Commission, composed of five members. Three members will be appointed by the Governor, with the Governor’s initial appointments to serve terms of at least four years and not be subject to Senate confirmation. Two other members will be appointed by the Governor, upon the recommendations of the Speaker and Senate President. The Commission will promulgate all regulations to govern the industry and will oversee the applications for licensing of adult-use marijuana dispensaries. *
* Provisions in the bill establish an expedited expungement process for individuals convicted of low-level marijuana offenses, and a virtual expungement process that will automatically prevent certain marijuana offenses from being taken into account in certain areas such as education, housing, and occupational licensing.
* There are a number of provisions that aim to ensure broad-based participation in the industry for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs), low- and middle-income individuals, and disadvantaged communities across the state.