New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Tuesday that he had reached an agreement with legislative leaders to legalize recreational marijuana for adults. Lawmakers expect to vote on the deal on March 25 and Murphy could sign the legalization bill later that week. Murphy said in a press release that after nearly a year of negotiation, he and lawmakers including Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Senator Nicholas Scutari, and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano had agreed on a regulatory and tax structure for an adult-use cannabis industry. The governor said that legalization would help address the systemic injustice in the enforcement of cannabis prohibition.
“Legalizing adult-use marijuana is a monumental step to reducing disparities in our criminal justice system,” said Murphy. “After months of hard work and thoughtful negotiations, I’m thrilled to announce an agreement with my partners in the Legislature on the broad outlines of adult-use marijuana legislation.”
Bill Will Regulate Cannabis Industry
Under the agreement, a state Cannabis Regulatory Commission will be established to create the rules for marijuana cultivators, manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. Murphy said that the plan will encourage business development and allow scarce public resources to be reallocated to other issues.
“I believe that this legislation will establish an