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New Jersey Delays Legalization Vote, While Pennsylvania Plan Emerges

March 26, 2019

New Jersey lawmakers called off a planned vote on legalizing recreational cannabis yesterday, with congressional leaders saying they were short of the votes required to approve the measure. Senate president Steve Sweeney said in a statement, “The Senate was very close to 21 votes and, with more education and advocacy, I believe we will get this legislation across the finish line.” New Jersey governor Phil Murphy has made legalization one of his key priorities.

While New Jersey continues to work toward legalization, Pennsylvania state senators Sharif Street and Daylin Leach have announced a plan intended to allow recreational cannabis in the Keystone State. The rough outline of the proposal is notable for its comparatively loose regulations, one of which would put no cap on the number of licenses issued for grow operations, manufacturers, retailers, delivery services, or consumption lounges provided applicants meet certain requirements. Criminal convictions would be automatically expunged and Pennsylvania universities would be allowed to grow and process cannabis as part of curricula on the science and business surrounding the plant.—Danny Sullivan

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