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NJ-RAMP: Big Pot-Push in New Jersey Goes Up in Smoke

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  NJ-RAMP and SAM Action President Dr. Kevin Sabet, former drug policy advisor to President Obama, issued the following statement in response to New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney’s announcement that legalization of commercial marijuana will not be taken up by his chamber for the remainder of the 2019 session:“The pot lobby stood against parents, medical professionals, clergy, minority leaders and thousands of concerned residents all to pray at the altar of the marijuana industry investors. Governor Murphy and pro pot legislators burned enormous political capital this year to recklessly ram through legalization of commercial weed, including dangerous, high-potency THC products.

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NJ Department of Health Announces Medical Marijuana Rule Changes

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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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Reader says , “our politicians, will find a way to spend more than they take in”

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” Sorry to write it but legalized hooch will bring in significant revenue. NJ is the most densely populated state in the union. That fact alone will create a booming business. However, the issue is no matter how much revenue generators are blessed by our politicians, they will find a way to spend more than they take in…and that is the moral hazard we face as voters. “

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Reader says , “Weed is about the Bucks “

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” I think we’re way beyond weed and all its uses, benefits, and pitfalls when it comes to the state of NJ. It’s about the bucks. Much like the buzz about gambling in AC being the magic bullet to solve New Jersey’s financial woes, weed is looked at as a new cash crop to fill our tax coffers with green. We have a 40+ year view on legalized gambling and see only bankrupt casinos, lives ruined, and power-broker pockets lined. The state lottery, online gambling, sin tax on tobacco, etc…all failures in helping people. Only more money for politicos to piss away. Only with weed, we have more stoners and fewer earners. Is it any wonder why our taxes are so high? Maybe we should legalize prostitution so we can tax sex workers while we’re at it. Murphy (or any GOP gov) and company should be focused on how to help people succeed rather than keep the citizens dumbed down and wasted. Decriminalize individual use of cannabis and penalize illegal distribution, much like alcohol laws. “

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Ranking Republican on Senate Judiciary Committee says Pot deal is a “shameful abdication of our duty to protect public health and safety”

Cheech-Chong-Up-In-Smoke

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-39) released the following statement in response to news that Governor Phil Murphy and Legislative leaders have reached a deal on legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

Senator Cardinale has been one of the Legislature’s most vocal opponents of the bill. In November, he testified before the Budget Committee in opposition to the legislation. He also released an expansive data book containing peer-reviewed studies that demonstrate the dangers of legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

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New Jersey Moves to Legalize Marijuana

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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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Understand the Pros and Cons of the Legalization of Marijuana in New Jersey.

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

River Vale NJ, according to Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi , “This year I worked with Senator Ron Rice and the students at Ramsey High school to understand the pros and cons of the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey. One thing that the students’ research pointed to is how uneducated most people are on the issues related to legalization and how different demographics are being lobbied in different ways. In Urban communities it has been marketed as “social justice” and in suburban communities it has been marketed as reducing your property taxes. Neither argument is accurate.

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Support for Legal Weed Stays High

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Public sees tax revenue boon; backs expungement

West Long Branch NJ , The Monmouth University Poll finds more than 6-in-10 New Jersey residents support legalizing marijuana and half say a current proposal to make that happen in the Garden State is a good idea.  The number of people who say that legalization will help the state’s economy and lead to a decrease in other drug crimes has ticked up over the past year. Three-quarters of the public also support the opportunity for those with past possession convictions to expunge their records.

Most New Jersey adults (62%) currently support legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use while 32% oppose this.  These numbers are in line with the 59% – 37% split recorded in a Monmouth poll last year. However, statewide support for legalization is higher than five years ago when it stood at 48% in favor and 47% opposed.  Marijuana legalization receives support from most Democrats (72%) and independents (61%), but less than half of Republicans (47%).  By age, support stands at 81% among those 18 to 34 years old and at just over half among those age 35 to 54 (56%) and age 55 or older (53%).

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Proposal to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana Advances

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

TRENTON NJ, A proposal to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older advanced in the New Jersey Legislature Monday. The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee approved S2703, sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari, (7-2-4), and the Assembly Appropriations Committee approved A4497, sponsored by Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, (6-1-2). The measures will now go to the full chambers for a vote. Gov. Phil Murphy has expressed strong support for legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use.
The amended version of the legislation:

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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.