New Jersey’s top lawmakers have decided to let voters decide on legalization of cannabis during the 2020 presidential elections.
The constitutional amendment introduced today, November 18, 2019, by Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Senator Nicholas Scutari would legalize the use of recreational marijuana for anyone at least 21 years of age, and establish a Cannabis Regulatory Commission to oversee the new market.
The amendment does NOT detail the taxation rate, which was $42 an ounce in the original bill. It is also not clear if the commission will have 5 members, like the original bill.
According to NJBiz., Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leadership long-resisted pursuing legalization via a ballot question because any, inevitable, changes to the program would have to go before voters in yet another ballot referendum.
“We made further attempts to generate additional support in the Senate to get this done legislatively, but we recognize that the votes just aren’t there,” reads the joint statement from Sweeney, D-3rd District, and Scutari, D-21st District.
To appear on the 2020 ballot as a constitutional amendment, both houses would need to pass the measure by a super-majority by the summer, or they would need to pass it 2x in both houses by a simple majority for 2 years in a row.
Just hours earlier, several progressive and social justice groups made a plea to legislative leadership to push through a legalization bill, pointing to a growing increase in low-level cannabis offenses which have disproportionately affected people of color.
Duane Morris Partner Paul P. Josephson and Associate Sarah M. Bachner will be speaking on a panel for the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, “Legalizing Marijuana in New Jersey – What It Means to Your Business” to be held Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 8:00 a.m
For more information and to register, please visit the event site.
The medical marijuana market in Pennsylvania does not go live until, at the earliest, January 2018. However, the applicants for permits were required to develop business plans based on pro forma projections without having any “actual” information about marijuana sales in the market in which they intend to operate. Actual sales information from other states may be a useful proxy, but not necessarily a completely reliable one because of the differences in the regulations that define the marijuana markets in each state. A good example of the challenge in valuing a cannabis business is the recent proposal by Franklin Labs, which obtained one of 12 permits to grow cannabis in PA, to sell its permit for $20,000,000 months before the PA market goes live.
Join Duane Morris’ Patricia Heer at the October 12 NYC Women Grow event, “Know the Law: The Legal Side of a Cannabis Business,” in Duane Morris’ New York office, starting at 6:30 p.m.
The panel discussion will address the legal issues that current, future or ancillary businesses need to consider when working in the cannabis space.
Patricia H. Heer Special Counsel, Duane Morris, LLP
Deanna Clark-Esposito, Managing Attorney, Clark-Esposito Law Firm, P.C.
Lauren Rudick, Partner, Hiller, PC
For more information and to register, visit the event website.
Duane Morris’ Patricia Heer will be presenting at the 4th Annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition in Boston on October 4-6, 2017.
Patricia’s presentation, “Cannabis and Social Media with Some Practical and Legal Implications,” will take place on Friday, October 6 at 11:00 a.m.
The Annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Expos are the leading forums for doing business in one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. If you’re employed in the cannabis industry, a current business owner, interested in starting a cannabis business, provide private equity and investment resources, or provide professional or business services, these events provide numerous informative presentations and networking opportunities.
For more information and to register, please visit the event website.
Duane Morris’ Seth Goldberg was quoted in the Philadelphia Business Journal on the opportunities and risk facing entrepreneurs in the development medical marijuana industry in Pennsylvania.
While the upfront costs to entrepreneurs wanting to enter the market are expected to run into the millions of dollars, the payoff could be substantial. The ArcView Group, a market research firm that studies the cannabis industry, estimates the Pennsylvania medical marijuana market will start out with annual sales at about $125 million and grow at a rate of about 180 percent per year in the program’s first few years.
“There will also be huge opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to create ancillary businesses that are integral to the core growing and dispensing businesses,” said Seth Goldberg, a Philadelphia attorney with Duane Morris who specializes in commercial and health care matters.
Continue reading “The Marijuana Business Takes Root in Pa.”