New Jersey just delayed a vote to legalize adult-use of cannabis . . .
And that sets the stage for a voter referendum in late 2019.
Last year, legal cannabis sales in the U.S. topped $10.4 billion. Meanwhile, legal sales are expected to grow by over 1,000% and reach $100 billion within 10 to 12 years.
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Today, politicians in the New Jersey legislature were unable to rally enough support to legalize adult-use of marijuana.
Democrat Governor Phil Murphy – a proponent of the legislation – called off the scheduled vote due to a lack of support.
Despite Democrat control of the state legislature, party in-fighting caused some lawmakers to pull their support.
That sets up a potential voter referendum in New Jersey later this year.
Every U.S. state that has legalized recreational marijuana has done so through a voter referendum. The only exception is Vermont, where retail sales have not yet been legalized.
New Jersey residents are decidedly supportive of legalization.
A poll last week from Rutgers-Eagleton found that 58% of New Jersey residents think cannabis should be completely legal. And only 37% are opposed.
These results are closely aligned with Monmouth University’s poll, which found that 60% of residents support legalization.
The same poll found that 50% of adults have already used cannabis. And another 25% might try it – if it were legal.
Marijuana Business Daily estimates that the adult-use market in the state would be worth $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion per year.
By failing to legalize, the state will be passing up approximately $300 million in annual tax revenues.
Meanwhile, New York state continues to work toward full legalization.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this week that he plans to have the bill pass by June.
Expansion in states including New Jersey and New York will happen. Of course, the legislative process is always longer – and more complicated – than you’d expect.
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