New Jersey bill proposes some of the most progressive cannabis laws

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New Jersey appears to be moving closer to legalization after a local media source received a copy of a new bill that state lawmakers believe is likely to pass.  

If the bill is passed, New Jersey is poised to have some of the most progressive cannabis laws in the country.

An exciting feature of the bill is the call for consumption areas, or smoking lounges. Ideally, a retailer could actually have a space within their facility, separate from the retail area, for customers to consume product. This would require state and local approval.

The bill also proposes a home delivery system so that customers could purchase product online and have it delivered right to their door.

New Jersey could also see some of the lowest cannabis tax rates in the country at just around 10 percent if the bill is passed. Previous versions of a legalization bill in New Jersey have called for a 15 to 20 percent tax rate which is more in line with most of the country.

The bill also specifically calls for a quick rollout of a robust cannabis market. In many states, cannabis has been legalized but then it takes months or even years for any real market to develop thanks to a whole lot of red tape. If the bill passes, it will be seen to that businesses can start right away so that consumers can purchase product.

While the bill does call for a quick rollout, it also calls for a cautious approach to issuing licenses. Care will be taken to ensure a certain percentage of licenses will be granted to business owners from groups that are often marginalized or underserved. Specifically, the bill states that 25 percent of the licenses must be given to minority, veteran and women applicants.

Scott Rudder, head of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association said earlier this week that 98 percent of the issues have been worked out and that the bill is almost complete.

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