Lawmakers in the state Assembly pulled a vote on expanding the state’s medical marijuana program but will still go ahead with a measure setting up an expungement process for low-level cannabis offenses, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-19th District, told reporters on Monday.
“We’re holding it today simply because I want to foster an atmosphere of cooperation among the front office, the Assembly and the Senate,” Coughlin added. A
A source close to the discussions who requested anonymity added that lawmakers did not want to send Murphy that he would likely conditionally veto.
Monday’s move comes as Gov. Phil Murphy advances his own ambitious expansion plan, which includes the addition of 108 new marijuana businesses broken down into 24 cultivation sites, 30 manufacturing facilities and 54 dispensaries.
Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3rd District, has lambasted the administration’s move as an “immediate and uncontrolled expansion” which could “be destructive to what is a newly-expanding marketplace.”
Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-19th District, reiterated Sweeney’s position, saying he was “disappointed” by what the Murphy administration’s decision.
Assembly Bill 10 would loosen regulations governing who can take part in the state’s medical marijuana program as caregivers, doctors and patients; boost how much medicinal cannabis a patient can own at once; and enact employment protections for patients.
The state Senate approved the measure in late May, but it was sent back to the Assembly due to the addition of an amendment regarding the hiring of union labor at medical marijuana alternative treatment centers.
the measure had to go back to the Assembly anyway, because a last-minute amendment was added regarding the hiring of union labor at medical marijuana alternative treatment centers.