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New Jersey Passes Statewide Program for the Cultivation, Handling, Processing, Transport, and sale of Hemp and Hemp products

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Steve Oroho, Senator Jim Beach and Senator Bob Andrzejczak that will create a statewide program for the cultivation, handling, processing, transport, and sale of hemp and hemp products in New Jersey was signed into law today.

“The hemp industry offers an expanding market for farmers to grow their crops and for processors to produce new hemp products,” said Senator Sweeney (D- Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “New Jersey’s agriculture industry has the capacity and ability to capitalize on new opportunities for hemp products that will create jobs and expand economic opportunities.

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NJ Department of Health Announces Medical Marijuana Rule Changes


pthe staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The New Jersey Department of Health today announced amended medical marijuana rules that establish standards by which the Department implements the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. The rule changes follow the Department’s recommended regulatory actions in response to Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order #6, which charged the Department with reviewing all aspects of the program to expand access and eliminate bureaucratic barriers.

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Senator Gerald Cardinale Still Says NO to Dope Deal

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-39), the ranking Republican on the State Senate Judiciary Committee, sent the following letter to Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Coughlin highlighting concerns regarding social justice and pending legislation to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Dear Sirs,

As a follow up to Senator Rice’s letter on April 3, 2019, please allow me to associate myself with his remarks, but I would like to add a few thoughts. Social justice is frequently cited in support of legalizing recreational marijuana in Washington and California. Legalization has, if anything, led to a greater proportion of minority incarcerations.

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Democrat Senator Ronald Rice Presents dangers of Legalizing Recreational Marijuana at NJ Conservative GOP meeting

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, State Senator Ronald Rice (D) Dist. 28, gave a presentation on the dangers of legalizing recreational marijuana at the NJ Conservative GOP meeting on Thursday, March 25. 

NJ Conservative GOP President Paul Danielczyk congratulated Senator Rice on his successful efforts in getting the NJ Senate vote tabled on Monday.  Senator Rice said that he will continue to educate the public and fight future votes to legalize recreational marijuana. Danielczyk pledged that the NJ Conservative GOP will support him in his opposition.

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New Jersey Moves to Legalize Marijuana


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, New Jersey CannaBusiness Association (NJCBA) President Scott Rudder issued the following statement today regarding Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Coughlin, Senator Scutari and Assemblywoman Quijano announcing an agreement on legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis in New Jersey:

“I want to thank Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, Speaker Coughlin, Senator Scutari, and Assemblywoman Quijano for coming together and doing the right thing for New Jersey. The time for legalization has come. The old ‘reefer madness’ myths have been dispelled. We know legalizing recreational adult-use cannabis and expanding medical cannabis in New Jersey will address issues of social justice, help the state’s economy, and create a new, thriving workforce.

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New Jersey Senator Cardinale : “Just Say No to Drugs “


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, In advance of committee hearings on legislation that would legalize marijuana in New Jersey, Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-39) electronically distributed the following letter and data to his fellow legislators in the State Senate and Assembly, legislative committee aides, the Governor’s Office, and the media.

Senator Cardinale also plans to testify in opposition to the legislation (S-2703) at the Senate Budget Committee hearing. The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Monday, November 26, 2018, in Committee Room 4 in the Statehouse Annex. An audio livestream of the hearing can be accessed here.

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How High Are Recreational Marijuana Taxes in Your State?

April 26, 2018
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

According to Katherine Loughead and Morgan Scarboro of the Tax Foundation public opinion increasingly favors the legalization of recreational marijuana, a growing number of states must determine how to tax legal sales of cannabis.

Will New Jersey Be next? One of the biggest signals of change has been the election of Democrat Phil Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive, and the incumbent Governor of New Jersey. He’s has already instilled a belief that New Jersey will embrace the plant recreationally.

To date, nine states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, but only eight of these jurisdictions have legal markets. The table below highlights the states that have implemented legal markets and levy taxes on recreational marijuana.

Of the states with legal markets, Alaska is the only state that does not impose some form of sales tax on end-users. In each of the other states, taxes levied on the sale of marijuana far exceed the general sales tax rate levied by that state:

In Alaska, which has no states sales tax, marijuana growers pay a tax of $50 per ounce when selling the product to marijuana dispensaries or retailers. While the cost of taxes paid is passed on to customers in the form of higher prices, end-users do not pay a sales tax when purchasing marijuana.

In California, cultivators pay a per ounce of product tax at a rate of $9.25 per ounce of marijuana flowers and $2.75 per ounce of leaves. In addition, retailers collect from customers a 15 percent excise tax on the average market price of the product.

Colorado imposes a 15 percent excise tax on the sale of marijuana from a cultivator to a retailer. In addition, the state levies a 15 percent sales tax (up from 10 percent in 2017) on retail sales to customers.

Maine legalized recreational marijuana in 2016 by ballot initiative but has not yet established a legal market. Pending legislation would tax sales of marijuana at a rate of 10 percent and levy an excise tax on cultivators at a rate of $335 per pound of flower, $94 per pound of marijuana trim, $1.50 per immature plant or seedling, and $0.30 per seed. Governor LePage, however, has vowed to veto the legislation.

Massachusetts, concerned its previous ballot initiative approved rate of 3.75 percent was too low, raised the excise tax rate to 10.75 percent in 2017.

Nevada imposes an excise tax on the sale of marijuana by a cultivator to a distributor. This rate is set at 15 percent of the Fair Market Value as determined by the Nevada Department of Taxation. In 2017, Nevada created a new 10 percent sales tax paid by consumers.

Oregon, which does not have a general sales tax, levies a 17 percent sales tax on marijuana.
Washington levies a 37 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana.

Vermont legalized the possession of marijuana this year but did not create a legal market. D.C. also allows for possessing and growing of marijuana but does not allow for sales in a legal market.

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Colorado shows why legalizing marijuana is bad policy


Jeff Hunt is the vice president of public policy at Colorado Christian University.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., has introduced the Marijuana Justice Act in an effort to legalize marijuana across the nation. This is the furthest-reaching legalization effort to date and marks another sad moment in our nation’s embrace of a drug that will have generational consequences.

Our country is facing a drug epidemic. Legalizing recreational marijuana will do nothing that Booker expects. We heard many of these same promises in 2012 when Colorado legalized recreational marijuana.

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Reader asks why Americans have such a propensity to abuse drugs?


A lot more research should be done to figure out why Americans have such a propensity to abuse drugs. In most countries, people have access to prescription drugs without needing a prescription. I was recently in Mexico and you can walk into any drug store and buy oxy and Percocet easily. Yet, Mexico is not facing an epidemic like we are. The problem here is and always has been a demand problem, not a supply problem. Why is that? Is life so terrible here that we need to numb ourselves? Or have we been coddled to the point of ignoring the notion of personal responsibilit?. How many bulimics are there in the third world?

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Cannabis Legalization Back on the Agenda at Senate Hearing



Given all that it took to get a medical marijuana program up and running in New Jersey, you might think that the idea of legalizing recreational use of cannabis would be low on the list of agenda items for lawmakers here. But, with states like Colorado and Oregon showing that legalization can prove to be a big budget boon without – so far – a terrible downside, New Jersey lawmakers are planning to at least start seriously talking about it. Senator Nick Scutari will hold a committee hearing on the issue Monday. David Cruz, NJSpotlight Read more