NJ lawmakers weighing legislation legalizing marijuana
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey lawmakers have begun considering legislation to legalize recreational cannabis.
A joint Democrat-led Assembly and Senate committee on Monday began discussing the package of measures before a standing-room-only crowd.
The legislation legalizes an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and over, sets up a five-person cannabis commission and taxes cannabis at 12 percent.
That includes the 6.625 percent sales tax. The draft also allows towns and cities to apply for up to a 2 percent tax on cannabis.
Lawmakers dropped an earlier proposal to phase in a higher rate over five years from 7 percent to 25 percent.
The legislation also calls for expediting expungements for people with marijuana-related criminal backgrounds.
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy supports legalization. His office didn’t respond when the new legislation was unveiled Wednesday.