Lawmakers have reached a deal on a bill that will launch a legal marijuana industry in New Jersey, clearing a path for the bill to pass later this month.
“There is a deal,” Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, the sponsor of the marijuana legalization bill (S21) said Friday evening. “It’s been a long road and I’ll be happy when it’s done.” The compromise puts one limit on licenses back into the legislation: The state can only give out 37 licenses for marijuana growers during the first two years of legal sales. The limit does not apply to microlicenses, which can be given to businesses with 10 or fewer employees.
It also dedicates 70% of the sales tax revenue, as well as all of the funds raised by a tax on cultivators, to support restorative programs for legal aid, health care, mentoring and more in minority communities disproportionately affected by the drug war.