The marijuana industry is already donating to the political sector, and legalization in New Jersey is probably no further away than the end of 2018. The potential for revenue is considerable, but the sticking point seems to be the potential tax rate for marijuana and related products.
Governor Phil Murphy gained office on a platform that promised legalization of marijuana. However, his current stance against a 10-percent tax rate is part of the problem where New Jersey marijuana legalization is concerned.
Gov. Murphy’s preference leans toward the 25% rate more common among the states with legislation already in place, compared to tying with Nevada with the lowest rate of 10%.
For those hoping to see the legislation pass sooner rather than later, the tax rate is on par with concern that the cost for marijuana is going to exceed the budgets of those who need it most, including senior citizens and disabled veterans.
The discussion is still ongoing as to rates and legislation jargon. For now, the market and its impact on politics within the state is still relatively minor.
In recent years, politicians like Gov. Murphy received a little less than $9,000 from marijuana groups toward his political campaign. Meanwhile, State Sen. Nicholas Scutari received around $8,600 toward his election campaign, some from out-of-state weed-related businesses.
New Jersey is currently home to six dispensaries, one of which is the Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge. This dispensary is run by the Compassionate Care Research Institute, who also happens to be the most giving of marijuana-related organizations and businesses when it comes to political contributions.
Scutari chairs the Union County Democratic Committee, which recently received $25,000 from the Compassionate Care Research Institute, while other groups like the re-election fund for Cartaret Mayor Dan Reiman received smaller amounts, namely $2,600.
With the investments and interests of the marijuana industry already making a mark in New Jersey, the overwhelming support from the residents shows the logical progression of the push to legalize marijuana. However, the tax rate can remain a sticking point indefinitely.
Gov. Murphy will have to work with the state government to find a rate that is satisfactory. Allowing the legislative measures will move forward in a timely fashion to bring satisfaction to all involved.