NJ Awaits Closed Door Session to Determine Next Steps in Cannabis Legalization

Closed DoorThe final push to advance the cannabis legalization agenda will take place in a closed door session on Thursday, December 13.  At that time, the governor will meet with Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin to continue to negotiate certain nuances of cannabis legalization.  Front and center will be the proposed Cannabis Regulatory Commission, a state agency legislators want to create to control both the proposed recreational cannabis industry and the medicinal industry.

Governor Murphy has pushed back on the Cannabis Regulatory Commission on the basis that it may have too much power and control over the industry.  Recent drafts of the legalization bill have included a provision requiring an examination of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission three years after its existence to determine whether it is still necessary.  This provision was a compromise from legislators to acknowledge the governor’s concerns.

If a compromise is not reached on Thursday, it is unlikely that the bill will move forward in 2018 and, instead, will move to the 2019 legislative agenda.