New Jersey Cannabis News

Legal Status: Recreational marijuana is illegal. Medical marijuana was legalized in 2010.

  • New Jersey will vote on a referendum to legalize recreational marijuana on November 3, 2020. 
  • NJ legislators debated recreational marijuana legalization throughout much of 2018 and 2019. After failing to reach an agreement, lawmakers passed a bill to put a legalization referendum on the 2020 ballot. 
  • If approved by voters, the referendum would legalize the possession, cultivation, and sale of recreational mairjuana for adults 21 and over. The law institutes a 6.625% tax on marijuana sales, but does not address many other details, which would need to be handled by the legislature. 
  • After failing to pass a legalization bill in 2019, NJ legislators passed two compromise bills. One bill expanded the states medical marijuana program in a number of ways. The other bill expedited the process for expunging past low-level marijuana convictions. 
  • Gov. Phil Murphy was elected governor on a platform of legalizing marijuana in 2017. Since then, legalizing marijuana has been one of his top priorities. 
  • New Jersey legalized medical marijuana in 2010. The first medical marijuana dispensary opened in 2012.
  • Nine medical marijuana dispensaries are currently operating in New Jersey. 
  • New Jersey expanded its medical marijuana program in 2018. The law increased the number of qualifying conditions, began phasing out the sales tax for medical marijuana purchases, added employment protections for patients, authorized home delivery, allowed physicians assistants and advanced practice nurses to recommend medical marijuana, and more.

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WHERE DO NEW JERSEY’S SENATORS STAND ON CANNABIS LEGALIZATION?

Sen. Robert Menéndez - D

3 Supports 2 Has Not Supported

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  • Allow Cannabis Businesses To Use Banks
  • Allow VA Doctors To Recommend Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Recreational Cannabis
  • End Cannabis Prohibition At Federal Level

  • Cosponsors the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which would allow banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level.  
  • Cosponsored the SAFE Banking Act, which would allow banks to provide services to legitimate marijuana businesses. (2017)
  • Signed a letter calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to respect state marijuana laws. (2018)

Sen. Cory Booker - D

5 Supports 0 Has Not Supported

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  • Allow Cannabis Businesses To Use Banks
  • Allow VA Doctors To Recommend Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Recreational Cannabis
  • End Cannabis Prohibition At Federal Level

  • Introduced the Marijuana Justice Act of 2019, which would end cannabis prohibition at the federal level, expunge federal cannabis convictions, reinvest in the communities that have been most harmed by cannabis prohibition, and penalize states that continue to disproportionately arrest people of color and low-income individuals for cannabis-related crimes.
  • Cosponsors the MORE Act, which would end the prohibition of cannabis at the federal level, expunge low-level cannabis convictions, and levy a 5% tax on cannabis sales to fund grants for communities that have been disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition. (2019)
  • Introduced the Marijuana Justice Act of 2017, which would end cannabis prohibition at the federal level and expunge federal cannabis convictions.
  • Cosponsors the STATES ACT, which would prevent the federal government from interfering with cannabis policy at the state level, allow banks to provide services to legitimate cannabis businesses, and end the federal prohibition of industrial hemp.
  • Cosponsors the CARERS Act of 2017, which would prevent the federal government from interfering with state medical cannabis policy, end the federal prohibition of CBD, and allow VA doctors to recommend medical cannabis for veterans in states where it is legal.
  • Cosponsors the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which would allow banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level.  
  • Cosponsors the SAFE Banking Act, which would allow banks to provide services to legitimate marijuana businesses.
  • Cosponsored the CARERS Act of 2015, which would have prevented the government from interfering with state medical cannabis policy, moved cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II, ended the federal prohibition of CBD, allowed banks to provide services to legal cannabis businesses, and allowed VA doctors to recommend cannabis for veterans in states where it is legal. (2015)
  • Signed a letter calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to respect state marijuana laws. (2018)

WHERE DO NEW JERSEY’S REPRESENTATIVES STAND ON CANNABIS LEGALIZATION?

Rep. Donald Norcross (NJ-1) - D

4 Supports 1 Has Not Supported

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  • Allow Cannabis Businesses To Use Banks
  • Allow VA Doctors To Recommend Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Recreational Cannabis
  • End Cannabis Prohibition At Federal Level

  • Voted in favor of the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which allows banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level. (2019)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2019)
  • Cosponsors the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which would allow banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level.  
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting medical cannabis patients and providers in states where it is legal. (2015)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2015)
  • Voted in favor of allowing VA doctors to recommend medical cannabis for veterans in states where it is legal. (2016)

 

New Jersey’s 1st district covers the following counties:

Camden (partial), Gloucester (partial), Burlington (partial)

 

Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-2) - D

2 Supports 3 Has Not Supported

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  • Allow Cannabis Businesses To Use Banks
  • Allow VA Doctors To Recommend Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Recreational Cannabis
  • End Cannabis Prohibition At Federal Level

  • Voted in favor of the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which allows banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level. (2019)
  • Voted against preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2019)
  • Cosponsors the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which would allow banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level. (2019)
  • Cosponsored legislation to decriminalize possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis in New Jersey. (2018)
  • Said he would vote against a bill to legalize recreational cannabis in New Jersey. (2018)
  • Voted in favor of legalizing medical cannabis in New Jersey, but also voted in favor of delaying the implementation of New Jersey’s medical cannabis program. (2010)

 

New Jersey’s 2nd district covers the following counties:

Salem, Cumberland, Cape May, Atlantic, Gloucester (partial), Camden (partial), Burlington (partial), Ocean (partial)

 

Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-3) - D

4 Supports 1 Has Not Supported

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  • Allow Cannabis Businesses To Use Banks
  • Allow VA Doctors To Recommend Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Recreational Cannabis
  • End Cannabis Prohibition At Federal Level

  • Voted in favor of the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which allows banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level. (2019)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2019)
  • Said he opposes legalizing recreational cannabis in New Jersey. (2018)
  • Said he wants to remove cannabis from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. (2018)
  • Quote: “When I see stats out there saying that states that allow for medicinal marijuana have 25 percent less opioid related fatalities, that is something that catches my attention and makes me think that this is something that we need to look into and research and do in a responsible way.” (2018)

 

New Jersey’s 3rd district covers the following counties:

Burlington (partial), Ocean (partial)

 

Rep. Christopher Smith (NJ-4) - R

0 Supports 5 Has Not Supported

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  • Allow Cannabis Businesses To Use Banks
  • Allow VA Doctors To Recommend Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Recreational Cannabis
  • End Cannabis Prohibition At Federal Level

  • Voted against preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2019)
  • Voted against preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting medical cannabis patients and providers in states where it is legal. (2015)
  • Voted against preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2015)
  • Voted against allowing VA doctors to recommend cannabis for veterans in states where it is legal. (2016)
  • Voted against preventing states from penalizing banks for providing financial services to legitimate cannabis businesses. (2014)

 

New Jersey’s 4th district covers the following counties:

Monmouth (partial), Mercer (partial), Ocean (partial)

 

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) - D

1 Supports 4 Has Not Supported

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  • Allow Cannabis Businesses To Use Banks
  • Allow VA Doctors To Recommend Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Recreational Cannabis
  • End Cannabis Prohibition At Federal Level

  • Voted in favor of the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which allows banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level. (2019)
  • Voted against preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2019)

 

New Jersey’s 5th district covers the following counties:

Warren (partial), Sussex (partial), Passaic (partial), Bergen (partial)

 

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ-6) - D

4 Supports 1 Has Not Supported

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  • Allow Cannabis Businesses To Use Banks
  • Allow VA Doctors To Recommend Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Recreational Cannabis
  • End Cannabis Prohibition At Federal Level

  • Voted in favor of the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which allows banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level. (2019)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2019)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting medical cannabis patients and providers in states where it is legal. (2015)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2015)
  • Voted in favor of allowing VA doctors to recommend medical cannabis for veterans in states where it is legal. (2016)
  • Voted in favor of preventing states from penalizing banks for providing financial services to legitimate cannabis businesses. (2014)

 

New Jersey’s 6th district covers the following counties:

Monmouth (partial), Middlesex (partial)

 

Rep. Tom Malinowski (NJ-7) - d

5 Supports 0 Has Not Supported

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  • Allow Cannabis Businesses To Use Banks
  • Allow VA Doctors To Recommend Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Recreational Cannabis
  • End Cannabis Prohibition At Federal Level

  • Voted in favor of the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which allows banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level. (2019)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2019)
  • Cosponsors the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which would allow banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level. (2019)
  • Declared his support for the Marijuana Justice Act, which would end marijuana prohibition at the federal level and expunge federal marijuana convictions. (2018)
  • Quote: “There’s no good rationale for locking up a lot of young people up for marijuana… And if that’s going to be our judgement going forward then we also need justice looking backward.” (2018)

 

New Jersey’s 7th district covers the following counties:

Hunterdon, Essex (partial), Morris (partial), Somerset (partial), Union (partial), Warren (partial)

 

Rep. Albio Sires (NJ-8) - D

4 Supports 1 Has Not Supported

Show More Info

  • Allow Cannabis Businesses To Use Banks
  • Allow VA Doctors To Recommend Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Recreational Cannabis
  • End Cannabis Prohibition At Federal Level

  • Voted in favor of the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which allows banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level. (2019)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2019)
  • Cosponsors the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which would allow banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level. (2019)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting medical cannabis patients and providers in states where it is legal. (2015)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2015)
  • Voted in favor of allowing VA doctors to recommend medical cannabis for veterans in states where it is legal. (2016)
  • Voted in favor of preventing states from penalizing banks for providing financial services to legitimate cannabis businesses. (2014)

 

New Jersey’s 8th district covers the following counties:

Bergen (partial), Essex (partial), Hudson (partial), Union (partial)

 

Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (NJ-9) - D

4 Supports 1 Has Not Supported

Show More Info

  • Allow Cannabis Businesses To Use Banks
  • Allow VA Doctors To Recommend Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Recreational Cannabis
  • End Cannabis Prohibition At Federal Level

  • Voted in favor of the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which allows banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level. (2019)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2019)
  • Cosponsors the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which would allow banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level. (2019)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting medical cannabis patients and providers in states where it is legal. (2015)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2015)
  • Voted in favor of allowing VA doctors to recommend medical cannabis for veterans in states where it is legal. (2016)
  • Voted in favor of preventing states from penalizing banks for providing financial services to legitimate cannabis businesses. (2014)

 

New Jersey’s 9th district covers the following counties:

Bergen (partial), Pasaic (partial), Hudson (partial)

 

Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (NJ-10) - D

5 Supports 0 Has Not Supported

Show More Info

  • Allow Cannabis Businesses To Use Banks
  • Allow VA Doctors To Recommend Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Recreational Cannabis
  • End Cannabis Prohibition At Federal Level

  • Cosponsored the MORE Act, which would end the prohibition of cannabis at the federal level, expunge low-level cannabis convictions, and levy a 5% tax on cannabis sales to fund grants for communities that have been disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition. (2020)
  • Voted in favor of the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which allows banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level. (2019)
  • Cosponsors the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which would allow banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level. (2019)
  • Cosponsors the Marijuana Justice Act of 2018, which would end cannabis prohibition at the federal level and expunge federal cannabis convictions. (2019)
  • Cosponsored the Jobs and Justice Act of 2018, which would end marijuana prohibition at the federal level and create a reinvestment fund to assist communities that have been negatively affected by the War on Drugs (the bill also does a variety of other things). (2018)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting medical cannabis patients and providers in states where it is legal. (2015)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2015)
  • Voted in favor of allowing VA doctors to recommend medical cannabis for veterans in states where it is legal. (2016)
  • Voted in favor of preventing states from penalizing banks for providing financial services to legitimate cannabis businesses. (2014)

 

New Jersey’s 10th district covers the following counties:

Essex (partial), Union (partial), Hudson (partial)

 

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) - D

4 Supports 1 Has Not Supported

Show More Info

  • Allow Cannabis Businesses To Use Banks
  • Allow VA Doctors To Recommend Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Recreational Cannabis
  • End Cannabis Prohibition At Federal Level

  • Voted in favor of the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which allows banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level. (2019)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2019)
  • Cosponsors the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which would allow banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level.  (2019)
  • Quote: “As someone running for federal office who also worked as a U.S. attorney, I would like to see [marijuana] taken off the Schedule 1 controlled substances list. Because quite frankly, that means there’s no known medical use and it can’t be studied. And we all know that that’s simply not the case. So that’s the first thing that I would like to see happen.” (2018)
  • Quote: “I want to do that carefully. I have four kids. We know that when marijuana is decriminalized or legalized that crime goes down, that … you start to move in a good way against the over-incarceration of young men, but you do also see a rise in use among children and that’s a big concern to me. … People have asked me about the New Jersey [cannabis legalization] legislation. And even though I don’t work in Trenton I have said there’s reasons to move forward on this. I just would caution that if we’re going to do that, we should be thoughtful about how we do that so that we can protect people.” (2018)
  • Supports legalizing medical cannabis. (2018)

New Jersey’s 11th district covers the following counties:

Morris (partial) Pasaic (partial), Essex (partial), Sussex (partial)

 

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) - D

5 Supports 0 Has Not Supported

Show More Info

  • Allow Cannabis Businesses To Use Banks
  • Allow VA Doctors To Recommend Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Medical Cannabis
  • Allow States To Legalize Recreational Cannabis
  • End Cannabis Prohibition At Federal Level

  • Voted in favor of the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which allows banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level. (2019)
  • Cosponsors the MORE Act, which would end the prohibition of cannabis at the federal level, expunge low-level cannabis convictions, and levy a 5% tax on cannabis sales to fund grants for communities that have been disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition. (2019)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2019)
  • Cosponsors the Marijuana Justice Act of 2019, which would end cannabis prohibition at the federal level, expunge federal cannabis convictions, reinvest in the communities that have been most harmed by cannabis prohibition, and penalize states that continue to disproportionately arrest people of color and low-income individuals for cannabis-related crimes. (2019)
  • Cosponsored the Jobs and Justice Act of 2018, which would end marijuana prohibition at the federal level and create a reinvestment fund to assist communities that have been negatively affected by the War on Drugs (the bill also does a variety of other things). (2018)
  • Cosponsors the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which would allow banks to work with cannabis businesses that are legal at the state level. (2019)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting medical cannabis patients and providers in states where it is legal. (2015)
  • Voted in favor of preventing the Justice Department from prosecuting cannabis users and businesses in states where recreational cannabis is legal. (2015)
  • Voted in favor of allowing VA doctors to recommend medical cannabis for veterans in states where it is legal. (2016)

 

New Jersey’s 12th district covers the following counties:

Mercer (partial), Middlesex (partial), Union (partial), Somerset (partial)

 

WHERE DOES NEW JERSEY'S GOVERNOR STAND ON CANNABIS LEGALIZATION?

Gov. Phil Murphy - D

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  • Phil Murphy is the first person with an explicitly pro-cannabis legalization platform to be elected governor in the United States.
  • Instituted new rules aimed at expanding New Jersey’s medical cannabis program. (2018)
  • Made a passionate argument in favor of cannabis legalization during his first budget address. (2018)
  • Signed an executive order to look into ways to increase participation in New Jersey’s medical cannabis program, which had been stifled by the previous governor, Chris Christie. (2018)
  • Pledged to legalize recreational cannabis during first 100 days in office, though he did not succeed in doing that. (2017)

Take Action in New Jersey

Connect with a NORML chapter in New Jersey

CLICK HERE

Connect with an Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter in New Jersey

CLICK HERE

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