State lawmakers delay revote on medical marijuana expansion bill
State lawmakers have delayed a revote on a bill to expand New Jersey’s medical marijuana program.
Despite overwhelming votes in favor of the bill in the state Assembly and Senate last month, final approval has been delayed by about 10 days amid negotiations with Gov. Phil Murphy.
"The governor has submitted some changes that he would like to see…We did not have a chance to get them on Friday,” Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin says. “Here we sit on Monday, we have not had a chance to take a look at them. We'll take a look at them and see if we can come to some sort of accord.”
Coughlin says that the reason lawmakers were not able to review the changes is because legislative leaders spent the weekend negotiating with Murphy on a bill to regulate undisclosed campaign contributions known as “dark money.” They were able to come up with a deal on that front.
“So we have a bill that does important things in terms of transparency, important things for the citizens of New Jersey that will help take some of the dark money out of the political process,” Coughlin says.
The Senate passed its version of the medical marijuana bill on May 30. But the Senate added a provision that allowed cannabis workers to unionize. The addition meant that the bill had to go back to the Assembly for a revote. That second vote is tentatively rescheduled for June 20.
If medical marijuana passes the Assembly, it will go to Murphy's desk for final approval.