The march toward full marijuana legalization has percolated in the state for years and the use of the drug for medicinal purposes has been legal since 2010. But since Philip D. Murphy, the Democratic candidate for governor and the early favorite in recent polling for November’s general election, announced his unambiguous support for making recreational marijuana use legal, the $6 billion nationwide industry has aggressively accelerated its efforts in New Jersey.
While his Republican opponent, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, opposes legalization, a coalition of lobbyists, out-of-state companies, existing medical marijuana dispensaries and even marijuana app companies are eagerly anticipating Mr. Murphy’s possible election as New Jersey’s next governor and are working with lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled Legislature to have a bill ready for him to sign.
In May, Nicholas Scutari, a Democratic state senator, introduced a bill that would legalize up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational use and establish rules and regulations to set up a retail marijuana industry in New Jersey.