Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin reached an agreement on Friday for legalizing, regulating and taxing recreational marijuana, according to multiple media reports.
Under the agreement, the state would tax marijuana at $42 an ounce, regardless of the price charged for the product.
The state’s marijuana industry would be overseen by a five-person Cannabis Regulatory Commission, which would issue licenses for dispensaries and lay out guidelines and regulations for the budding industry.
Murphy will be able to pick three of the commissioners without requiring the approval of the Senate, as part of the deal. Coughlin, D-19th District, and Sweeney, D-3rd District, would each pick a single commissioner.
The three top Democrats will have to undertake the task of drumming up support for the bill and finalizing the legislative text.
Friday’s agreement also calls for a means by which to expunge the records of marijuana convictions. But, it lacks an arrangement on the tax that municipalities can levy on marijuana sales within their borders, known as an excise tax.
A version of the legislation approved at a Nov. 26 joint committee called for a two percent tax, but the New Jersey League of Municipalities has been advocating for a five percent levy.
Friday’s agreement was first reported by New Jersey Globe