Home Events + News Marijuana Legalized in New Jersey: What It Means + Where to Find It in Hoboken + Jersey City

Marijuana Legalized in New Jersey: What It Means + Where to Find It in Hoboken + Jersey City

by Diana Cooper
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The 2020 election marked a huge turning point in New Jersey history for the legalization of marijuana. On ballots across the Garden State, voters were tasked to respond to many vital questions – one being if adults at least 21 years of age could use cannabis legally. Late Tuesday night, New Jerseyans learned the legalization has, in fact, passed.

As reported by the Associated Press, the results so far are as follows: 1,735,733 (66.9%) voted YES, and 857,073 (33.1%) voted NO. 62.56% of precincts were accounted for.

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The Public Question 1 appeared on the ballot as: 

“Do you approve amending the Constitution to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called ‘cannabis?’ Only adults at least 21 years of age could use cannabis. The state commission created to oversee the state’s medical cannabis program would also oversee the new, personal use cannabis market. Cannabis products would be subject to the state sales tax. If authorized by the Legislature, a municipality may pass a local ordinance to charge a local tax on cannabis products.”

New Jersey, along with Arizona, has now been added to the list of 11 states that already legalized marijuana across the nation. Other states where marijuana is fully legal are Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. In this year’s election, South Dakota voters passed one of two legalization ballot measures, resulting in legalizing marijuana medical use. For Mississippi, voters approved an initiative to establish a medical marijuana program for patients with debilitating conditions.

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Governor Murphy stated in September that legalizing marijuana would correct social injustices, spur “massive economic development,” create more jobs, form a new tax revenue for the state, and possibly lead to expunging charges against those who have previously been convicted of marijuana transgressions.

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“Voting Yes on Public Question #1 will legalize marijuana for adult use, while also creating a new regulatory structure to make sure operators are following the law and ensure that minors are not able to purchase the product,” Murphy said. “Legalization will not be the end of the story — there is more work to do, particularly in expunging past marijuana-related offenses.”

The amendment will not take effect until January 1, 2021. However, many experts estimate it would likely take at least a year before the first legal pot {which would be subjected to a $6.625 sales tax} would be sold. State lawmakers and the Cannabis Regulatory Commission will need to hammer out issues, such as whether people will be allowed to grow cannabis at home and how much marijuana people could legally possess.

Kate Bell, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington D.C., told NJ.com that the regulatory process could take at least six months. Then the licensing process could take another six months after the legislation is passed. That schedule could move more quickly if medical marijuana dispensaries can meet the demand.

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Ahead of the polling results, medical marijuana companies have already been making headway to Hudson County. Harmony Dispensary, a dispensary headquartered in Secaucus, received approval on August 4th to open a satellite dispensary at 95 Hudson Street in Hoboken. Harmony’s second location is expected to open by the end of the year and will only offer prescription pickup and delivery. 

Terrapin, another cannabis company, announced its plan to open at 86 River Street in a September press release. Terrapin is currently involved in a lawsuit with Harmony, accusing the company, also located near the PATH train station, of “bypassing New Jersey’s vetting process” and wants Harmony’s approval reconsidered.

A Hoboken ordinance says that the city can only host three dispensaries at a time. The third company expected to open in Hoboken, Nuka Properties, has “teamed up with a business called Ascend Wellness Holdings in hopes of bringing another medical cannabis store to 94 River St.” According to JerseyDigs, Nuka presented plans to the city’s Historic Preservation Commission in August, but hasn’t yet had a hearing before the Planning Board.

See More: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Coming to Downtown Hoboken

In August 2019, Nuka Properties {which is associated with 1906 edibles, a Colorado-based edible marijuana company known for its chocolates} was in the works to be the first medical marijuana dispensary in Jersey City. The city’s Redevelopment Agency approved a plan building the facility on the industrial Edward Hart Road near Liberty State Park, where cannabis would be grown and sold. According to NJ.com, Nuka Properties Founder and CEO Peter Barsoom said at the time that the company was hoping to start construction in the first quarter of 2020 but had to first wait for a license from the state of New Jersey.

What are your thoughts on the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey? Stay tuned for the latest cannabis updates on Hoboken Girl.

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