What originally looked like an exciting beginning of the week turned out to be a false start. And when it doesn’t look like you’ll get to the endzone, sometimes it is best to punt. That was the route chosen by the New Jersey Senate on Monday when it postponed its vote on S2703, which would legalize adult use marijuana in New Jersey.
The bill had the requisite number of votes in the state’s lower house. However, in the state senate, the numbers were lacking, causing Senate President Stephen Sweeney to call off the vote. Twenty-one votes are needed in the Senate to pass a bill. It appears that only 17-18 Senators would have voted in favor of S2703.
Despite this setback, proponents of the bill have vowed that this is not the end of the discussion. Governor Murphy stated that he wants to see a vote sooner rather than later, and before the fall. There are reports that the vote could happen in May, which may provide enough time to persuade 3-4 Senators to change course.
Although New Jersey called a time out on adult use marijuana, there is still plenty to watch in our state and across the country: the possibility of another RFP for additional alternative treatment centers in New Jersey, the progress of the proposed federal SAFE Banking Act, and New York’s efforts to legalize, to name a few.