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Lawmakers set sights on November marijuana hearings.

Byline: Daniel J. Munoz

Following a Monday voting session, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3rd District, told reporters he has been coordinating with Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-22nd District, the lead legislative advocate for marijuana legalization.

"I think we're real close," Sweeney said.

But he did not offer any timelines, adding that November is a busy month because of elections, the New Jersey League of Municipalities conference in Atlantic City and Thanksgiving.

Following the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Monday, Scutari told NJBIZ he has been eyeing a Nov. 26 hearing on legalizing adult-use marijuana.

Any bill on adult-use marijuana would have to go through the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Scutari chairs.

Lawmakers were initially seeking a vote Monday in both the Assembly and Senate, but could not agree on how to proceed with the tax rate, which regulatory agency would oversee the newly legalized marijuana industry and how prior marijuana convictions would be expunged.

Sweeney said Monday the tax rate was not one of the major roadblocks, but declined to specify. He said earlier in the month that he would not go beyond a 12 percent tax.

Sweeney added that he wants Gov. Phil Murphy to help drum up support from Democrats in the Legislature.

Murphy, at an unrelated event Monday, said he wanted such a measure "sooner than later."

"The pen is in my hand," he said. "But it's important to do it right."View the full article from NJBIZ at Copyright 2018 BridgeTower Media. All Rights Reserved.

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Author:Munoz, Daniel J.
Publication:NJ Biz
Geographic Code:1U2NJ
Date:Oct 30, 2018
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