Marijuana Laws Attorney Morristown, NJ
New Jersey Marijuana Attorneys on Legalization, Taxes, and Licensing
Marijuana law encompasses a number of complicated issues, encompassing everything from criminal charges for the illegal possession, sale, and manufacturing of this Schedule I substance, to regulating taxes and licensing for businesses that are approved to operate medical marijuana dispensaries in the state. In New Jersey, many of these laws can lead to a variety of complications if a New Jersey resident is found to be in possession of this substance without the authority to do so. In a case like this, it is imperative to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side who understands the many laws regarding marijuana in New Jersey and who will fight for your rights.
If you’ve been arrested for marijuana possession or marijuana distribution in New Jersey, you should contact the law office of Hanlon Dunn Robertson Schwartz as soon as possible. Our skilled attorneys are knowledgeable and have a level of experience that is highly beneficial for any client facing marijuana-related drug charges in Morristown, Parsippany, Dover, Denville, or anywhere else in New Jersey. Contact our office today for a free consultation about your case.
When Will Marijuana Be Legalized in New Jersey?
While there has been a lot of talk concerning the legalization of marijuana in the state of New Jersey over the last few years, the laws are still “up in the air.” In 2018 there were a few promising changes that took place, including an increase in the medical marijuana program, which meant that more dispensaries were becoming operational. By November of 2018, New Jersey lawmakers were trying to agree on legal marijuana, which had been heavily amended throughout the year. However, as the governor and legislative leaders came together and spoke about how much to charge or what the taxes would look like from a financial standpoint, they could not come to an agreement. By December of that year, the state’s top legislator confirmed that the State lawmakers wouldn’t vote on a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in New Jersey before the end of the year.
Now, in 2019, lawmakers are taking a closer look at the legalization bill in an attempt to rework it for a higher chance of approval. However, questions regarding whether or not legal weed has enough support to pass a floor vote remain unanswered. Without assurance that it will pass, supporting officials will not risk putting the bill up for a vote. There is a 60% supermajority needed from Legislature if legalization of marijuana is going to pass. However, if it fails, lawmakers would have to wait until January 2020 to start the whole process over due to legislative rules.
As of now, there is no specific timetable for when we can expect marijuana to be legalized in New Jersey as state officials are all still working to gain the needed votes. However, legalizing marijuana requires a significant change in public policy, so legislators are being very thoughtful in making their decisions.
Marijuana Tax Proposal in New Jersey
If legislative leaders in New Jersey are able to reach an agreement win enough support that places the state on a path to legalizing recreational marijuana, the agreement that follows will establish how marijuana would be taxed and will set parameters to regulate the drug. In March, Gov. Phil Murphy released a state budget proposal that anticipated New Jersey generating $80 million dollars in marijuana tax revenue over the next fiscal year. While many critics of this proposal say that this seems unlikely considering that the new tax agreement calls for taxing marijuana by weight at $42 an ounce, rather than by a set percentage, it lead others to believe that the current proposal will truly boost tax revenues as promised.
Another prevalent issue revolves around how marijuana businesses are taxed. For instance, as with any other types of business, they must be ‘tax-compliant,’ which means that marijuana dispensaries must operate in compliance with local, state, and federal tax laws that can sometimes be strict in nature. Tax issues are more often causing big issues for marijuana businesses, as many businesses fail to have proper licensing to run their businesses.
There is also an issue with the fact that cannabis dispensary owners are not permitted to claim the same deductions as other businesses, as, on a federal level, there is a Code Section 280E that prevents the deduction of business expenses that are considered to be trafficking of controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act.
There are great risks for marijuana business owners, even after marijuana has been legalized, which is something important that all owners must remember. An experienced attorney can make you aware of and help to protect your rights under these various laws.
Marijuana Licensing Issues Throughout NJ
Licensing for marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey has not been easy, as the program has been doubling for medicinal cannabis in New Jersey, which means that many more people are gaining licenses than was originally expected. In fact, in 2018, the Department of Health in New Jersey received 146 applications and this has only grown since then.
Even with so many applications coming in, it was not projected that many of these businesses could get their start until this year, 2019. This means that New Jersey might see a rise in business licensing for marijuana dispensaries. For business owners in New Jersey, starting a marijuana business with federal laws cracking down is a risky and difficult business for some, but something that is becoming more commonplace throughout the state.
Experienced Marijuana Lawyers Assisting You in Rockaway Township, Mount Olive, and Throughout NJ
As medical marijuana businesses become standard throughout the state and New Jersey works to push recreational marijuana within the state, more businesses and individuals fall into legal troubles and need the help of an experienced attorney to help them through this difficult time.
At Hanlon Dunn Robertson & Schwartz, we handle marijuana law and defense throughout Morris County, including Morristown, Mount Olive, Rockaway Township, Roxbury, Parsippany – Troy Hills Township, Pequannock Township, Madison, Washington Township, Montville, and Lincoln Park, NJ. Please contact us today for more information on how we can assist you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana Laws
No. New Jersey’s state program known as the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, follows strict guidelines as it applies to those who are seeking medical marijuana in the state. The three points that are in violation if you are out of state include having to maintain a relationship with an in-state practitioner at all times in New Jersey, being certified with a debilitating condition, and being an actual resident of New Jersey.
Currently, even though certain states have legalized, federal legislation states that cultivation, possession, and use of medical marijuana is still illegal within the border of each state. Under federal law, this means that many individuals and business owners could still be subject to prosecution as marijuana is still considered to be a Schedule I drug.