On Tuesday evening, New Jersey voters approved Public Question 1—ending a three-year effort to approve adult-use cannabis in the state. New Jersey was one of four states—along with Arizona, Montana and South Dakota—to approve an adult-use cannabis bill on election night November 3.
With 63 percent of precincts reporting, nearly 70 percent of voters approved the bill. Public Question 1 amends the state’s Constitution, and it will allow for possession, consumption and cultivation of recreational cannabis for adults 21 years of age and older.
But don’t expect recreational dispensaries on the corner of every New Jersey block just yet: New Jersey lawmakers must still pass a bill that will establish rules and regulations to govern the state’s new industry. Potential dispensary operators must undergo a rigorous licensing process. In addition, cultivation operations will need to be implemented to boost the state’s cannabis supply beyond its existing medical cannabis system, which already faces supply problems.
Keep in mind that other states on the East Coast took years to establish recreational dispensaries. In Maine, for instance, it took four years to get its program up and running.
After campaigning for several years, it’s a victory that wasn’t made without sacrifice.