Written by Steve Schain
By a 2 to 1 ratio, on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, New Jersey approved a constitutional amendment legalizing adult-use marijuana.
With an 8,882,190 population, New Jersey became the first Mid-Atlantic state to launch an adult-use Cannabis program creating a potential $2 billion market, ending most Marijuana arrests and prosecutions, and pressuring New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland to establish competing programs.
New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program
Launched in 2014, New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Program is comprised of 51,000 patients/caregivers serviced by 12 mid-sized vertically integrated grower-processor-dispensaries. In September and October, New Jersey cardholders purchased 2,500 pounds of Cannabis, and, presently, the Program has 10,000 pounds of medical marijuana available.
Although the constitutional amendment takes effect on January 1, 2021, and allows for a 6.25% state sale tax, New Jersey’s Office of Medicinal Marijuana apprises that adult-use marijuana will not be available for sale until legislation is enacted. In 2021, the legislature could greenlight the current licensee’s immediate adult-use sales, pass previously stalled legislation. Or draft new laws from scratch.
Marijuana License Applications
Further, new license applications will not be issued until the legislation is passed and regulations are promulgated, all of which are susceptible to Jersey’s incendiary local politics, which have derailed adult-use effort for over 30 months.
In this election, Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota’s ballots also contained Adult Use referendums, and 34 states presently have Medical Marijuana programs, 14 of which have Adult Use program.
As it is nestled among New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, New Jersey’s first to market adult-use market will service its region’s collective 44,155,195 population.
Copyright ©2020 by Steven M. Schain, Esquire