Legal Marijuana in New Jersey Could Be Doomed for Now by Risky Move in Trenton

Legal Marijuana in New Jersey Could Be Doomed for Now by Risky Move in Trenton

A bold plan to tie medical marijuana expansion to the legalization of recreational cannabis could jeopardize both efforts in New Jersey.

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June 1, 2018

A bold plan to tie medical marijuana expansion to the legalization of recreational cannabis could jeopardize both efforts in New Jersey, state legislators say.

Multiple sources in the state Legislature have told NJ Advance Media that state Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, is working on combining the two measures in a political gamble that risks dooming their chances of passage before the Legislature takes its summer break at the end of June.

"That would be brilliant, because medical expansion has to happen," said one lawmaker, who asked not to be named due to the sensitive nature of the negotiations. The legislator added that it could slow both medical and recreational plans.

State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, on Tuesday told NJ Advance Media that there have been discussions about combining the medical marijuana plan, which has broad support, with the much more contentious legal marijuana bill. Two other sources in the Legislature confirmed such discussions.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced a major expansion of New Jersey's medical marijuana program earlier this year. Several health conditions were added to the program and enrollment has gone from around 16,000 to more than 21,000 since Murphy took office.

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Top Image: © K. L. Kohn | Adobe Stock