Going forward, cannabis will primarily be a revenue issue and not so much a criminal issue in New Jersey. But what does that mean to the individual user or the spiriting cannabis small business entrepreneur right now?
A logical concerned person needs a way to help guide their immediate actions and decisions in the uncertain and evolving legal climate. Look to these two documents documents coming for guidance.
Criminal issues: The state’ Attorney General issued a statement on transitional policy. In short, nothing has changed yet but an announcement is coming soon.
Tax issues: The NJCPA will release a statement at 8 AM this morning on the work that’s been going on for a long time behind the scenes regarding the legal changes on the tax revenue issues.
Business regulation issues: Nothing is expected for up to a year.
The two upcoming announcements taken together: 1) the AG’s soon to be released directive to police and prosecutors on changes to criminal procedures and 2) the NJCPA’s endorsement of proposed tax law changes, will form the basis of business and personal legal planning for many who expect to be involved in the recreational pot in the immediate future. In reality, it will likely take a long time until we have laws of tough issues like home grow and recreational possession limits.
As a member of the NJCPA’s Cannabis Interest Group, I want to help spread the word that much good work has gone into planning for this eventuality, and that it will move forward in as ‘sane’ a way as is possible within our complex and often ‘whacko’ state government system.
Finally, be aware that nothing compels a police officer, a local prosecutor or state revenue agent to abide by changes in official policy and that we have seen a recent trend, especially in Cape May county and rural southern regions, for some officials to deliberately oppose state policy on ‘hot button’ issues. So, in other words, you could still be arrested and prosecuted here for possessing a joint even if the charge could eventually be overturned.