Category: Patrick McKnight

New Jersey Assembly Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana

On Thursday June 18, 2020, the New Jersey Assembly voted to decriminalize marijuana. The bill would make up to two ounces of marijuana punishable by a $50 fine and eliminate the possibility of jail time. Possession for amounts between two ounces and one pound could be punishable by up to $1,000 in fines or six months in jailtime. The proposal cleared the lower house of the New Jersey legislature by a 63-10 majority. The Garden State is scheduled for a statewide referendum to legalize marijuana in November.

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States Deem Medical Marijuana Essential Industry Amidst COVID-19 Emergency

Businesses are on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak. Employers must attempt to balance public health concerns, compliance with emergency government orders, employee safety, consumer demand, and financial reality. Many states are enacting restrictions on business activity or even forcing “non-essential” companies to close or transition to a work-from home policy.

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Bankruptcy Protection Continues to Elude the Cannabis Industry

Cannabis Law Report columnist, Patrick McKnight writes. “Due mainly to legal reforms at the state level, 2019 legal cannabis sales are expected to generate over $10 billion in revenue. Products ranging from buds, oils, and tinctures are increasingly being used medicinally to treat chronic pain, cancer, terminal illness, and some stress-related mental disorders. Recreational use is becoming legal in a growing number of states.”

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Pennsylvania Aims To Move Forward Both On Medicinal & Adult Use Cannabis Programs

A new effort to legalize recreational cannabis is coming to the Keystone State. Pennsylvania lawmakers Daylin Leach and Sharif Street are hoping to build support for their latest proposal, Senate Bill 350 which they introduced on October 15th. The bill would allow for both home delivery and the automatic expungement of many previous criminal convictions related to marijuana. The bill’s supporters estimate it will generate $500 million in tax revenue within twelve months.

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Another Delay for New Jersey Cannabis Legalization

An ongoing political saga took another unpredicted turn this month. After over a year of building momentum, hopes for a legislative vote on legalizing the adult-use of recreational cannabis have once again faded. Senate President Steve Sweeney announced he is no longer working towards a legislative solution, instead proposing a ballot referendum in 2020. In the meantime, he pledged to continue efforts to expand the Garden State’s medical marijuana program. He also expressed his support for an expungement bill.

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What’s Inside New Jersey’s Proposed Cannabis Legalization Bill?

Over a year after reform advocates first began predicting swift legislative victory, the recreational use of cannabis remains illegal in New Jersey. When Governor Murphy and Senate President Sweeney agreed on a $42 per ounce flat tax in February, legalization supporters once again hoped for quick adoption of New Jersey Assembly Bill 4497 (“A4497”). Once again, the much-publicized March 25th vote was called off due to lack of support. Now legislators have a limited window to act before the state budget deadline on July 1st.

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New Jersey Moves Closer to Legalization

New Jersey took another big step towards legalizing the recreational adult-use of cannabis last week, but legislators stopped short of taking the historic vote. After a breakthrough in negotiations over taxes and regulatory oversight between Governor Murphy and Senate President Sweeney in February, the scene appeared to be set for legalization. A vote was scheduled for Monday, March 25 but was postponed due to a lack of support. Leaders now hope to work out remaining sticking points and pass legislation before June.

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NJ Leaders Agree to Compromise on Cannabis Tax

The Garden State may have a new crop on the market in the near future. The prospects for legalizing cannabis for recreational adult use appear to once again be on the rise. After months of back and forth between Governor Phil Murphy and the State Legislature, a compromise solution appears to be in the works. Reports suggest details, including tax rates and regulatory schemes, finally have been ironed out. Many observers are optimistic about legislative action later this year. 

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2018 Year in Review: Steady Progress Toward Legalization in NJ, NY & PA, Massachusetts Opens Recreational Dispensaries

Given the drama of 2018, making predictions about the timetable of future political developments has proven to be a fool’s errand. It seems clear that both New Jersey and New York are on the path to fully legalize the adult use of cannabis, potentially in 2019. The optimistic forecasts of impending action in New Jersey have been thwarted again and again by the realities and in-fighting of local politics. In Pennsylvania, it is too early to tell whether Governor Wolf’s recent comments represent mere rhetoric or a more substantive change in direction.

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New Jersey and New York Continue March towards Legalization

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says the legalization of recreational cannabis is coming “sooner rather than later.” His remarks came during a Facebook Live town hall meeting on October 1st. Murphy went on to say the legislature could vote on recreational cannabis within the next few weeks.

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New Jersey Lawmakers Plan Vote on Legalization This Month

New Jersey cannabis reform advocates began 2018 with high hopes. Newly elected Governor Murphy pledged to legalize the recreational use of cannabis within his first 100 days. Several pieces of legislation were introduced in the State House but stalled over the summer due to debates over the budget. The Murphy administration was able to loosen restrictions on medical cannabis and order a temporary halt to cannabis-related prosecutions, but the 100 day window came and went without legislative action.

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New Jersey Pauses Cannabis Prosecutions

Of the 36,000 people arrested for marijuana-related charges in New Jersey in 2016, over 32,000 were for possession of small amounts. New Jersey has the second-highest marijuana arrest rate in the country and saw the largest increase in arrests from 2015 to 2016.

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New Jersey Cannabis Update: Federalism, Fiscal In-Fighting, and the FDA

We welcome Patrick McKnight a MBA at Rutgers & Senior Editor Rutgers Business Law Review. He’ll be contributing when he can on NJ and east coast cannabis regulation issues. “Governor Phil Murphy has pledged his support for legalizing the recreational adult use of cannabis, but his administration is at an impasse with state lawmakers over the 2019 budget.”

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