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Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge). (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Coughlin wants user fee on legal marijuana

‘We can grow our revenue base by imposing an additional user fee,’ Speaker says on Twitter

By Nikita Biryukov, November 09 2020 12:05 pm

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge) wants a user fee on recreational marijuana sales.

“Now that NJ has legalized recreational cannabis, we can grow our revenue base by imposing an additional user fee that will help reduce the financial burden on New Jersey’s taxpayers and specifically its urban communities,” Coughlin said on Twitter. “I will work to include it in enabling legislation.”

Under enabling legislation introduced by State Sen. Nicholas Scutari last week, recreational marijuana sales would only be subject to the state’s sales tax.

Advocates have called for a higher tax on marijuana sales to fund programs in communities that have disproportionately been affected by the war on drugs.

Scutari’s bill is up for a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, Monday.

Coughlin’s position could complicate the enabling legislation’s passage. Though his caucus has, so far, had no issues finding the votes to pass marijuana measures, that could change with the speaker in a standoff with other Democratic leaders over tax rates of recreational marijuana.

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