As legislators gear up for next week’s New Jersey League of Municipalities conference in Atlantic City, the buzz around renewed efforts to push cannabis legalization continues to grow.
Assemblyman Jamel C. Holley, D-Union, has said he received assurances from the leadership in the Legislature legalization would be on the agenda during lame-duck session, which began after Election Day.
"We are a few votes short in the Senate,” Holley said last week during a business panel. “I feel confident — more than ever — we will eventually get this done in lame-duck session.”
Holley, along with Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, D-Hudson, who is the majority whip of the General Assembly and founder of CannaPharmacy, and Lynn Nowak, a widely respected lobbyist with Porzio Governmental Affairs to speak at NJ Cannabis Insider’s Nov. 20 networking event in Atlantic City. The happy hour takes place from 5-7 p.m. at Rhythm & Spirits.
Despite the support for legalization from Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, it’s been an uphill battle to get legalization to the finish line. This past March, Sweeney called off a vote on the proposed adult-use bill because there weren’t enough senators on board to to get it passed.
Some insiders think adult-use legislation has a better chance this time around, but others believe the Legislature may end up punting to voters by way of a ballot referendum in 2020.
The meetup coincides with the League’s conference, which, this year, will feature the panel “Marijuana Looking Ahead & Looking Back.”
Nowak serves as the co-chair of Porzio’s Cannabis Task Force and regularly monitors cannabis-related legislation in New Jersey and lobbies on behalf of clients.
Mukherji, whose company CannaPharmacy Inc. was recently acquired by multi-state operator Harvest Health, will address federal issues, including the SAFE Banking, as well as clinical research. He was a co-operator of one of the state’s first six dispensaries — Garden State Dispensary, which just opened a second location in July.
See you there!