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Advocacy groups urge more changes to marijuana enabling legislation

By Nikita Biryukov, December 07 2020 10:40 am

A host of advocacy groups urged legislative leaders to allow an office created by legislation enabling legal marijuana sales to explicitly dedicate marijuana revenues to communities affected by the war on drugs.

The groups, which include the ACLU of New Jersey, the Minority Cannabis Business Association and New Jersey Policy Perspective and 21 others, also want clarity on who counts as cannabis equity applicants.

The bill lists “persons from socially and economically disadvantaged communities” as eligible for the designation but does not define the term.

They also want the state to eliminate caps on marijuana licenses and create a stand-alone delivery license category.

“New Jersey has a unique opportunity to advance a blossoming new industry, while offering a form of social justice for communities of color that have been disproportionately targeted in the enforcement of state and federal prohibition,” the groups said in a letter to legislators. “We urge you to reconsider the language of S21/A21 and ensure that New Jerseyans can truly benefit from a successful and sustainable cannabis industry.”

Democratic legislative leaders and Gov. Phil Murphy reached an agreement on the enabling legislation Friday. Before then, they were at odds over caps on marijuana licenses.

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