The bill before New Jersey Legislation didn’t happen, creating another setback for legal marijuana sales to adults. If lawmakers fail to act by the end of October, other states may leapfrog ahead in authorizing marijuana sales. Voters in Michigan and North Dakota are scheduled to decide the fate of legalization in November. In August, New York Governor formed a working group to develop the outline of a bill to legalize marijuana in 2020.
As for New Jersey, the SPM algorithm predicts that February or March of next year will be the target date to legalize adult use and to authorize new retail stores in early 2021. The issues for delay are not a dispute over taxes, set-asides for disadvantaged communities or regulations, but the sheer intricacy of the effort. Senior Nicholas Scutari, the Union County Democrat and main legislative sponsor of the legal marijuana bill understands the complexity and is diligent to ensure every aspect of the bill are carefully considered.
Governor Phi Murphy, who supports legislation, initially hoped to have a bill passed by late April, which marked the end of his initial 100 days in August. Lawmakers set a June 30 deadline for a marijuana bill to pass, which included revenue from legal sales – than expected in January 2019 – in the state budget. Scutari and other advocates of legal marijuana point out that none of the deadlines is inviolable. Without legislation involvement, Murphy’s administration had significantly broadened the state’s medical marijuana program, which now covers 32,000 plus people, double the number when Murphy took office.
As Charles R. Swindoll, famous American Clergyman said, “The difference between something good and something great is attention to deal.”