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Marijuana bill would allow retail sales, delivery services and public lounges in New Jersey: Report

September 18, 2018

New Jersey’s governor is considering a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana sales within the Garden State and allow the operation of both weed delivery services and public consumption lounges, local media reported Tuesday.

NJ Advance Media obtained a copy of a recreational marijuana bill written by members of the state legislature and sent last week to Gov. Phil Murphy, a first-term Democrat who campaigned on legalizing pot.

The bill as written would legalize the possession and personal use of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and over, as well as lay the framework for creating a system for regulating and taxing retail sales, the website reported.

Additionally, the bill would pave the way for marijuana delivery services and public consumption lounges, the website reported, potentially putting New Jersey on a path toward implementing a more progressive approach to legalized weed than the handful of states to have previously passed recreational pot laws.

Nine states and D.C. have passed legalized recreational marijuana, but only California, Nevada and Oregon currently allow delivery services to operate, NJ Advance Media reported.

No states have passed laws legalizing public marijuana lounges to operate, however, though some cities in California and Colorado have adopted local policies allowing licensed retailers to let customers use the plant on premises.

Under the New Jersey proposal, according to NJ Advance Media, “Business[es] with a marijuana retail license would be able to apply to have a consumption space on the same premises as, but separated from, their dispensary. Retailers would have to get local approval for the consumption space in addition to getting permission from the state.”

Colorado’s legislature passed a similar, first of its kind bill in May that would have allowed marijuana “tasting rooms” to operate, but Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, vetoed it the following month.

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