After a state commission voted last week to delay the start of legal recreational marijuana sales in New Jersey once again, Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden) announced today that a special bipartisan legislative committee will convene to look into the repeated delays.
“These delays are totally unacceptable,” Scutari said in a statement. “We need to get the legal marijuana market up and running in New Jersey. This has become a failure to follow through on the public mandate and to meet the expectations for new businesses and consumers.”
Scutari was long the driving force behind bills legalizing recreational and medical marijuana, and in November 2020, he got his wish when voters overwhelmingly approved legalization via a ballot question. But while the legislature decriminalized and legalized the usage of marijuana three months later, the retail sale of recreational marijuana has taken a longer path.
In its decision to delay the beginning of sales, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) said that the eight medical marijuana dispensaries that have applied to sell recreational weed simply aren’t ready yet.
“We may not be 100 percent there today, but I assure you we will get there,” CRC executive director Jeff Brown said last week. “We have a few things to address and when we address them I’m happy to return to this body with a further update.”
Scutari said in his announcement today that the schedule and membership roster for the special committee have yet to be determined.