With the election of Phil Murphy as governor, the legalization of recreational marijuana in New Jersey seems a foregone conclusion. Entrepreneurs have certainly taken notice – two conferences last week drew 1,000+ attendees – some paying as much as $400 a seat.
The only question is “when?”. Clearly, there are several hurdles to be overcome before the first legal sale is made. The first is the legislative process to revise the draft bill before it can be presented to the legislature. After it is finalized and voted upon, the governor must sign it (a slam dunk). But then, come the heavy lifting. A new regulating agency must be created, then they will begin the arduous task of writing all the rules and regulations that will govern how businesses can operate within the state. The latest forecast I have seen is that it will be 2020 before retail establishments will be operational – but really, it’s anyone’s guess.