NJ lawmakers: Cannabis legalization vote Oct. 29 unlikely

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

New Jersey lawmaker’s plans to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana next week appears to be unlikely to happen, according to state legislative leaders.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin said Monday at an unrelated news conference in the State House that he does not anticipate a vote on Oct. 29.

Senate President Steve Sweeney says he thinks the legislation would come for a vote "this year," but didn't specify when.

Coughlin described the measure as a "seismic shift in public policy and the creation of a new industry." He says they want to "get it right."

Both leaders and Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy say they back such legalization but are debating details mostly behind closed doors.

RELATED: Another New Jersey community considers local marijuana ban
RELATED: NJ gets 146 applications for 6 new medical marijuana centers

Murphy made legalization of recreational marijuana a large part of his campaign for governor.

Although legalization has not yet happened, the governor did expand on New Jersey’s medical marijuana program.

The Murphy administration said Monday that the program has doubled to 34,000 patients since he took office. 

The Health Department said that the majority of the 17,000 new patients have one of five medical conditions Murphy made eligible for coverage in March: anxiety, migraines, Tourette's syndrome and two types of chronic pain.

The state is also considering doubling medical cannabis treatment centers to 12.

Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana. Recreational cannabis was also recently legalized in Canada. 

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Your Oct. 16 storm photos

    Your Oct. 16 storm photos

    Storm photos Oct. 17Storm photos Oct. 17
    Storm photos Oct. 17Storm photos Oct. 17
    Heavy right and high winds swept through the tri-state area due to a large coast storm on the night of Oct. 16. Here are your photos from the storm.
    Heavy right and high winds swept through the tri-state area due to a large coast storm on the night of Oct. 16. Here are your photos from the storm.
  • Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
  • Guide: New Jersey Breweries

    Guide: New Jersey Breweries

    Looking to check out brewery this summer? There are many breweries across the state for beer-lovers to visit. Check out our list for breweries in your area. 

    Looking to check out brewery this summer? There are many breweries across the state for beer-lovers to visit. Check out our list for breweries in your area. 

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."