The measure is expected to generate about $126 million a year once the market is established.
State Senator Nicholas Scutari, a former municipal prosecutor who has long championed legalization of the drug for medical and recreational uses, said he was putting the final touches on a bill that would enable the state’s nine existing medical marijuana companies to sell excess cannabis to recreational users.
“We’re anticipating moving very quickly with enabling legislation, which would in fact allow medical marijuana shops to sell to the general public immediately,” said Mr. Scutari, a Democrat who represents Union County.
“We’re happy to invite New York residents over to enjoy.”.
Supporters of the measure have cited widely divergent arrest rates as a key reason to amend the drug laws.
In New Jersey, Black residents are more than three times as likely as white residents to be charged with marijuana possession, in spite of similar rates of usage — a disparity Mr. Scutari called a “colossal waste of resources and a colossal waste of people’s lives.”.
The recreational use of marijuana is already legal in 11 other states and in Washington, and last year the governors of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut — all Democrats who support legalization — met in New York to try to coordinate marijuana policies. »