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When Will New Jersey Legalize Marijuana?

by Faith Fidura February 22, 2018


Update: The state may see nearly a hundred new medical marijuana dispensaries under a revised plan to expand the current medical marijuana program. Assembly Bill 3421 was passed last week by an Assembly committee, and now moves on to a full vote in the chamber. 

Additionally, as of March 27, 2018, Gov. Phil Murphy made the following immediate changes to New Jersey's current Medical Marijuana program:

  • Anxiety, migraines, Tourette’s syndrome, chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders and chronic visceral pain have been added as qualifying conditions 
  • The patient fee was reduced 50%
  • The existing 5 medical marijuana treatment centers may open satellite locations
  • Murphy said to address supply, he’s proposing changing regulations to let treatment centers specialize in specific areas, like cultivating, dispensing or manufacturing
  • Murphy stated he views the state's medical marijuana program strictly as a health issue, and he is still pushing for recreational legalization


When Will New Jersey Have Recreational Marijuana?

New Jersey Recreational Marijuana

In case you didn’t know, New Jersey is on its way to legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Governor Phil Murphy made marijuana legalization a key component of his campaign, and has said he will sign a recreational marijuana bill into law if one makes it through both houses of legislature. The president of New Jersey’s state Senate, Stephen Sweeny, has promised to put a marijuana legalization bill on the governor’s desk within the first 100 days of Murphy’s inauguration.

How is New Jersey Working Towards Legalizing Marijuana?

Currently, there are two bills pending – S830 and A1348. It’s important to know the differences and similarities between each.

First, their similarities:

Both bills allow for commercial businesses including cultivation facilities, manufacturing facilities, testing facilities, retail dispensaries, transportation vehicles, and wholesale facilities.

The Division of Marijuana Enforcement will be tasked with creating rules and regulations for the licensing process of marijuana establishments as well as determining a number of licenses to be issued for each, but specifies at least one retail store per county.

Lastly, they both give local governments the authority to ban or allow marijuana establishments and set limits on the number of establishments allowed within county limits.

Now, their differences:

While S830 establishes a general framework, A1348 provides more details on the establishment of marijuana businesses, capping the total number of dispensaries allowed at eighty, or two in every district. It would also limit the number of growers to 15 during the first year of the legal market, and increase it to 25 during the second year.

A1348 also allows for home cultivation. If passed, residents would be able to grow up to six marijuana plants in an enclosed space at home. Only three of the plants could be mature at a time. A household could have a maximum of 12 plants, with no more than six being mature at a time.

Lastly, A1348 would declare a lower tax on recreational marijuana, starting at 7% during the first year of the legal market, and increasing to 15% during the fifth year and beyond. S830 would set a 25% tax rate.

How Do I Get Involved in New Jersey’s Recreational Marijuana Market?

If you want to start a business in New Jersey’s recreational marijuana market, you’ll need to start preparing your application for a marijuana business license now. Our New Jersey Marijuana Business Application Package includes an informational overview, an application guide and checklist, a dispensary business plan template, and a financial plan template to get you started.

Need more help? The Dispensary Permits team can assist you through the entire application process for a marijuana business license. To inquire about our custom solutions, fill out our contact form or call 602-621-0648.