The delayed start to adult-use cannabis sales has spurred calls for inquiries from one of the state’s most powerful lawmakers, but the nearly 17 months that have passed since New Jersey voters approved adult-use cannabis don’t make New Jersey an outlier among states with legal cannabis.
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized adult-use cannabis through referendums or legislation, and it took on average 16-and-a-half months to set up legal markets in the 12 states where sales have started. The median is slightly lower, at 14 months. Only four states — Washington, Massachusetts, Alaska, and Maine — took longer to open their legal markets than New Jersey has taken.
Still, Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), who championed cannabis legalization before ascending the ranks of Senate leadership, on Tuesday announced the launch of a special legislative committee to investigate why the launch of New Jersey’s market is behind schedule.
“These delays are totally unacceptable,” he said in a statement. “We need to get the legal cannabis market up and running in New Jersey. This has become a failure to follow through on the public mandate and to meet the expectations for new businesses and consumers.”
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