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WEST LONG BRANCH – “We finally got an agreement with the administration, just when I got here today,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), referring to marijuana legalization.
“We agreed to the concept of a bill,” Sweeney told the packed room here at Monmouth University. “Our goal is March 25th. Good news is we have agreement on a bill. I don’t know whether we have 21 or 41 at this point.
“It’s time,” Sweeney added.
The state won’t see adult use legalization until the end of the year, he noted.
“It takes time to get the regulations in place,” the senate president explained.
Under the terms of the agreement, adult-use marijuana will be subject to an excise tax of $42 per ounce, which will be imposed when marijuana is cultivated. In addition, municipalities that are home to a cultivator or manufacturer will receive the revenue from a 2% tax on the product within their jurisdiction. Municipalities that are home to a wholesaler will receive the revenue from a 1% tax on the product within their jurisdiction, while municipalities that are home to a retailer will receive the revenue from a 3% tax on the product within their jurisdiction.
Adult-use marijuana will be governed by a Cannabis Regulatory Commission, composed of five members. Three members will be appointed by the Governor, with the Governor’s initial appointments to serve terms of at least four years and not be subject to Senate confirmation. Two other members will be appointed by the Governor, upon the recommendations of the Speaker and Senate President. The Commission will promulgate all regulations to govern the industry and will oversee the applications for licensing of adult-use marijuana dispensaries.
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