Tucked inside a nondescript commercial warehouse sits a marijuana-growing operation; 15,000 square feet which will eventually yield two tons of marijuana per year and it’s all legal.
Harmony Dispensary is the latest site in New Jersey to provide marijuana for medical use, a program that has expanded greatly since Gov. Philip D. Murphy, a Democrat, was sworn in. More than 10,000 patients have enrolled since he took office in January, bringing the total to about 25,000. And on Monday, Mr. Murphy’s office announced it was seeking up to six new applicants for medicinal marijuana dispensaries.
Mr. Murphy campaigned heavily on a promise to legalize marijuana for recreational use, which would make New Jersey the 10th state to do so, and the first in the New York City region. Full recreational legalization was projected to generate $80 million in annual tax revenue. Nicholas P. Scutari, a Democratic senator from northern New Jersey who has led the legalization effort, said a bill could still pass this summer. “In August: committee hearings and voting session, just for marijuana,” he promised.
Last month, Mr. Scutari tried unsuccessfully to combine an expansion of medical marijuana and the legalization of recreational marijuana into a single bill. Now he is working on drafts of two separate bills. Mr. Scutari’s plan would grant the state’s existing medical dispensaries a license to sell recreational marijuana the first day it became legal , provided enough of the medicine is set aside for patients. This would be a boon for impatient smokers. In other states it has often taken a year after legalization for sales to begin.
While the fate of recreational use remains unclear, Mr. Murphy’s campaign to expand access to medical marijuana has been more successful. He signed an executive order in March significantly expanding the list of qualifying medical conditions, and the number of patients in the program has been rising steadily.
Frank T. Luciano is a highly successful and experienced drug crime attorney operating in multiple areas throughout Northern New Jersey, including Hackensack, Jersey City, Elmwood Park and Fort Lee. In nearly 40 years as a criminal defense attorney, there is almost no legal situation that Mr. Luciano has not seen and successfully navigated his clients through.
Give yourself the best chance at a positive legal outcome by contacting Frank T. Luciano’s New Jersey law office immediately at 973-471-0004.