5 reasons why NJ is still waiting for legal weed

By Payton Guion | NJ Advance Media

EDITOR’S NOTE: Interested in the marijuana business industry? NJ Cannabis Insider is a new premium intelligence briefing that features exclusive weekly content geared toward entrepreneurs, lawyers and realtors. View a sample issue.

As June burned to a close, lawmakers in Trenton were still scrambling to pass a budget by the end of the month and avoid a government shutdown. Surprisingly absent from negotiations was one of the main platforms on which Gov. Phil Murphy ran for office: marijuana legalization. 

Despite support from top lawmakers, marijuana reform couldn’t get done before the June 30 budget deadline. It’s now been delayed until at least later this summer.

So, with a governor and legislative leaders who have said they support marijuana legalization, why has no real action been taken on legal weed? 

NJCI Colorado was among the first two states to legalize recreational cannabis

Andre Malok | NJ Advance Media

1. Legal weed has been a tough sell

Despite clear support for legal weed from Murphy, not all state leaders agree. New Jersey Cannabis Insider has been tracking votes for recreational marijuana and previously reported that there weren’t enough in the Legislature to legalize weed.

The majority of lawmakers haven’t publicly said whether they’d support recreational marijuana, and many could still vote in favor, but it’s far from a sure thing.

On the local level, far more municipalities have banned marijuana than have said they’d welcome it within their borders. More than 20 towns have taken steps to prevent marijuana businesses from opening, while just three towns have said they want the industry.

NJCI Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge grows and sells medical cannabis

Andre Malok | NJ Advance Media

2. There are a bunch of people at the table

Is legal weed a social

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