New Jersey Voters Will Decide on Legalized Cannabis in 2020

Election Check BoxNew Jersey’s efforts to legalize adult use recreational cannabis officially moved from legislative to electoral.  Senator President Stephen Sweeney introduced a constitutional amendment regarding the legalization of adult use recreational cannabis that is expected to be on the ballot in the 2020 election.

If New Jersey voters approve of the amendment, it would take effect on January 1, 2021.  The actual implementation of legalized adult use recreational cannabis, however, would take additional time.  Similar to the anticipated process with respect legalization through legislation, this method would still require a state agency (the Cannabis Regulatory Commission) to be created, rules and regulations to be implemented and promulgated and license applications to be processed.  In other states where this process has taken place, it took one to two years for dispensaries to officially open following the official legalization enactment.

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Recent Polls Suggest NJ Residents Support Cannabis Legalization

While New Jersey legislators continue to debate the merits and practicalities of legalizing adult use recreational cannabis, a reElection Check Boxcent poll indicates that New Jerseyans have made up their minds: 58% of state residents favor legalization, whereas only 37% oppose.

The poll also addresses two key issues associated with cannabis reform:

1)  64% of New Jerseyans believe not only that regulation and taxation of cannabis would be a boon for the state’s economy, but also would not be bothered if a dispensary opened in their town; and

2)  45% of New Jerseyans believe that cannabis is less harmful than alcohol, as opposed to merely 12% of New Jerseyans who disagree.

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