NJ Cannabis Media -
February 11, 2019

Will there be a vote on cannabis bills Feb. 21?

Written by Marc Schwarz
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There’s a good possibility a deal will be announced this week on legislation to authorize adult-use cannabis, expand the medical marijuana program and provide a path for expungement for marijuana possession offenses.

Several sources told NJ Cannabis Media a deal may be imminent. Multiple sources have said the same thing to other media outlets.

The bills –  the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act (S2703), the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act (S10) and s3205, which revises certain procedures for expungement of records of conviction – could be brought to the floor on Feb. 21, the next State Senate voting session and on the Assembly floor on Feb. 25.

Prime legislation sponsor Senator Nicholas Scutari told the New Jersey Globe last week, “There’s a possibility that we have an agreement by next week.”

However, Senate president Stephen Sweeney was just as quick to downplay that sentiment, telling NJ.com Friday, “That’s news to me. It’s not out of the question. But I haven’t been given any indications that we have an agreement.”

The details of any agreement – especially on the key issues of tax rates and make up of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission – are still being negotiated.

The timeline for getting legislation done is getting closer and closer.

Governor Phil Murphy will unveil his state budget proposal on March 3. If the bills aren’t passed by then, it’s assumed that budget negotiations will supersede any legalization efforts. That would push the bills to the fall or there may even be a call to put the issue to the voters with a November Constitutional Amendment on the ballot.

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