Panel members at a marijuana business symposium held in New Jersey on Thursday night, say they expect a cannabis legalization bill to be passed in the Garden State by June 30, 2018, according to reports.
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A marijuana legalization bill is slated to be introduced in the state Legislature on February 1st, which was one of the issues discussed Thursday night, January 25th, by a panel at the New Jersey Cannabis Symposium, held at at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
The bill “would allow for 80 retail and 15 cultivation licenses; that number would expand to 25 cultivation licenses after the first year of the bill’s implementation,” according to NJBIZ.com.
The panelists at the symposium were experts in the realm of cannabis. Many of the panelists from New Jersey’s cannabis-business sector said they were not discouraged by any action at the federal level in light of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ rescinding Obama Administration-era memos on marijuana prosecution and what level of priority it is for the U.S. Department of Justice.
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“What the Lord giveth in the form of a beautiful plant, the federal government isn’t going to take away,” said Joshua Bauchner, partner at law firm Ansell Grimm & Aaron. “No one is going to get raided.”
“According to panel members who have seen an early draft of the bill,” adds Arthur Augustyn in his article for NJBIZ.com, “it would simplify the five separate types of licenses for cannabis businesses present in current bills (cultivation, processing, transportation, retail and wholesale) to three licenses: cultivation, processing and retail.”
The draft, according to one source mentioned in the article, had been produced — or at least was dated — “months ago” and would have all New Jersey’s retail licenses distributed among the state’s 40 legislative districts, with two dispensaries allowed per district.
The new bill, according to that source, is “expected to be a combination of two similar bills, one sponsored by state Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Mercer,” according to NJBIZ.com.