A bill to implement adult-use cannabis legalization in New Jersey has been delayed after Gov. Phil Murphy requested a change that would levy a fine for underage cannabis possession before he will sign the legislation into law, according to the Asbury Park Press.
New Jersey voters approved an adult-use legalization ballot initiative in the November election, and although the measure was supposed to take effect Jan. 1, negotiations continue on legislation to implement the program.
The New Jersey Legislature gave final approval Dec. 17 on legislation to regulate the commercial production and sale of adult-use cannabis, sending the bill to Murphy for his signature.
Murphy’s office sent a proposed change to lawmakers last week that would implement a $250 fine on those younger than 21 who are caught with 1 ounce or less of cannabis, and a $500 fine for those caught with between 1 and 6 ounces, the Asbury Park Press reported.
While the legislation remains in limbo, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has directed state prosecutors to halt possession charges for small amounts of cannabis.