Legal weed bill likely to pass after Murphy, key lawmaker reach agreement

One of the final barriers to passing a bill that will launch the New Jersey’s legal marijuana industry may have fallen Wednesday, as a key lawmaker and Gov. Phil Murphy’s office reached an agreement on licensing cannabis growers.

State Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, said he plans to remove a provision that would have initially limited the number of people who could get licenses to grow marijuana from his bill (S21). Those limits were one of the last sticking points for Murphy’s administration, which wants to see the a robust industry with lots of opportunity rather than one that limits how many can get into the business.

The bill currently limits the number of licenses to grow marijuana to 28 in the first 18 months of legal sales.

“In a perfect world, I don’t think we need caps anymore,” Scutari told NJ Advance Media Wednesday.

But it was not clear Wednesday afternoon if the Assembly would come on board with the change.

“The Assembly continues to negotiate the final points of the legislation,” said Kevin McArdle, spokesman for Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin.

Both the Senate and Assembly committees expect to have hearings on the bill Thursday, and each chamber could vote on the bill as soon as Monday. [Read More @ NJ .com]

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