The state legalized medical marijuana in 2010, but Christie delayed the rollout of the program and added several layers of restrictions that made it extremely tough for patients to get access to their medicine. For this reason, many state legislators are more concerned about fixing the state’s current medical cannabis program than they are about drafting a new recreational cannabis law. State Sen. Joseph Vitale, author of the medical cannabis bill, is opposed to recreational legalization and protested the idea of his bill being combined with adult-use regulations.
Regardless of whether the bills are combined or not, Sen. Scutari said that he believes there is little chance that legislators will broach the topic before this weekend’s state budget deadline, but offered hope that the bill could be worked out later in the summer.
The state’s cannabis industry has had mixed reactions to the announced delays.