Governor, Dems Reach Weed Agreement

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TRENTON – Democrat State leaders have reached an agreement on legalizing recreational marijuana. A joint press release was issued Tuesday.

Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Senator Nicholas Scutari and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano have adopted the term “adult-use marijuana.”

A final version of the bill is undergoing technical edits and should be released in several days.

The “adult-use” marijuana will be subject to a $42/ounce excise tax, imposed at cultivation. Municipalities where cultivators or manufacturers are located will get 2 percent tax on revenue. Wholesalers will pay 1 percent tax to their municipalities, and retailers 3 percent.

Provisions will be made to attract minority and woman-owned business enterprises, low- and middle-income persons, and “disadvantaged communities.”

The bill will also look to expedite expungements for those convicted of low-level marijuana offenses.