420 with CNW — NJ Lawmakers Approve Cannabis Legalization Bill Addressing Governor’s Concerns

February 9, 2021 04:25:56

On the November ballot, voters in New Jersey approved a referendum to legalize marijuana, joining the growing number of states that allow cannabis. Shortly after the vote, the legislature introduced and passed enabling legislation that would create a regulated cannabis market. However, after lawmakers passed the legislation, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy revealed that he wasn’t a fan of the lack of penalties for underage possession.

To put his fears at ease, lawmakers tried to pass a bill addressing the issue of youth possession, but after key legislators pulled their support, a floor vote was canceled. This past week, however, a New Jersey Assembly Committee approved a “clean-up” bill that would address underage possession and pave the way for legalizing cannabis in the state. The proposal would fine adults aged 18 to 20 years $50 for possession of up to an ounce of cannabis and $100 for more than an ounce. On the other hand, anyone under age 18 would not be subject to a civil penalty; rather, they would receive a warning.

The bill also called for the creation of a task force to make recommendations to the governor and lawmakers on how law enforcement could address the enforcement of underage possession of cannabis as well as the broader issue of youth possession and consumption of cannabis items. Although the proposal has the support of New Jersey’s ACLU chapter, its fate in the full assembly, the Senate and the governor’s desk is unknown.

According to the ACLU, the task force will pave the way for future reform and provide a clearer look at law enforcement practices in action. The new bill also addresses an issue that has vexed many drug-reform activists, namely using the odor of cannabis as a pretext for searches by the police. According to the proposed legislation, the odor of cannabis shall not pose “reasonable articulable suspicion,” meaning law enforcement officers will not be allowed to search a person based on the smell of marijuana alone.

While this version of the bill has the ACLU’s support, the bill sent to the governor late last year didn’t. The organization claimed that the bill, which included a social equity tax and a provision that would direct 70% of all state cannabis sales tax to areas disproportionately affected by the war on drugs, didn’t do enough to address racial injustices of the war on drugs or give victims of the war a path to profiting from the marijuana industry.

Meanwhile, many companies have blossomed in the Michigan cannabis market after marijuana was legalized there. One such company is Gage Cannabis Co., which has set a standard for selling only the highest-quality cannabis as well as providing each customer with a top-notch customer experience.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Gage Cannabis Co. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/GAGE

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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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