“As of this moment, New Jersey’s broken and indefensible marijuana laws which permanently stained the records of many residents and short-circuited their futures, and which disproportionately hurt communities of color and failed the meaning of justice at every level, social or otherwise — are no more,” Murphy said after signing the bills.
Sales are slated to start in late 2021 or possibly later. The state is in the throes of setting up the infrastructure for its legal cannabis industry and is currently licensing new dispensaries. The Cannabis Regulatory Commission, according to reports, has six months to create guidelines and regulations before new businesses can be licensed.
On the decriminalization front, the new bill designates possession of up six ounces of marijuana is within the legal amount. “Starting immediately, those who had been subject to an arrest for petty marijuana possession — an arrest that may have kept them from a job or the opportunity to further their education — will be able to get relief and move forward,” Murphy concluded.