Gov. Murphy Signs Cannabis Legalization Bills

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Three months after New Jersey overwhelmingly voted to legalize recreational cannabis, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a set of bills on Monday that made New Jersey the 13th and latest state to end the prohibition of marijuana.  The new laws allow adults over the age of 21 to possess up to six ounces of cannabis and will permit the production, distribution and sale of cannabis in New Jersey by licensed businesses.

The legalization effort hit a series of snags in late 2020 and early 2021 when legislators disagreed on how to enforce penalties for minors under the age of 21 who were caught in possession of marijuana. After months of negotiation, a final “cleanup” bill was introduced on Friday that addressed and satisfied several key issues related to those penalties.  

The next step in the process is for New Jersey to finalize the Cannabis Regulatory Commission, the state oversight body that will promulgate the regulations for the New Jersey recreational cannabis industry.  We will update this Blog when the Cannabis Regulatory Commission is finalized and when formal guidance begins to issue.