NJ Cannabis Media -
October 5, 2018

Oct. 29 vote on legalization bill is not set in stone

Written by Marc Schwarz
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Photo Credit: MARC SCHWARZ

Assemblyman Jamel Holley, one of the key legislators attempting to shepherd an adult-use cannabis bill through the New Jersey Statehouse, said Oct. 29 may or may not be when the vote is taken.

“It’s a proposed date,” Holley responded to questioning from moderator Justin Zaremba at the NJ Cannabis Insider live event in Rahway Oct. 3.

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said last month he expected to hold a vote on legalization by Oct. 29.

The all-day event also included an industry and consumer panel, a medical/science/wellness panel, a social justice panel and one on the future of the industry. Speakers included former state Attorney General Christopher Porrino and Senator Nicholas Scutari.

On the same panel with Holley was Senator Joseph Vitale, who hedged his stance on recreational marijuana. “I haven’t made up my mind,” Vitale said; previously he’d been a “no.”

“We’re going to get him there,” Holley said.

The prevailing thought among all the panelists is that adult-use marijuana in New Jersey is, as Porrino said, “a question of when and what terms.”

Vitale, a proponent of expanding the medical marijuana program, talked about the need to reduce and then eliminate the tax rate on medical marijuana.

Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, and the incoming president of the New Jersey League of Municipalities, was adamant that local excise taxes should be separate from the legalization bill and that towns should have the same discretion with cannabis businesses opening in their town as they have now with liquor stores and establishments serving alcohol.

The key factorfor Mahr is that the legislation is “not vague.”

“We don’t want the bill to be passed with a lot of gray,” she said.

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