As the New York Times reported, after years of legislative failures, New Jersey voters on Tuesday authorized the legal use of recreational marijuana in a year when supporters rallied around the disproportionate number of arrests for the drug in minority communities.

The ballot question passed as expected, by a wide margin, according to preliminary results from The Associated Press. The vote allows New Jersey officials to begin the thorny, potentially lengthy process of establishing rules related to regulating and testing cannabis and issuing licenses, including how many permits to grant — and to whom.

The question New Jersey voters approved called for a 6.625 percent state tax on marijuana sales to customers 21 or older, and permitted municipalities to charge an extra 2 percent tax. But most other implementation details must now be worked out by the Legislature and a Cannabis Regulatory Commission with five members — only one of whom has been appointed.

The potential for extra tax revenue and new jobs may serve as a powerful motivator to move quickly in New Jersey, which is struggling to plug budget gaps left by a pandemic now stretching into its ninth month. The measure is expected to generate about $126 million a year once the market is established.

Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC’s dedicated Cannabis Law Practice Group stands ready to assist applicants with ensuring they are prepared when the Request for Applications is issued, including, among other things: corporate formation and governance, leasing, property acquisition, capital raising and financing, distribution agreements, licensing, and regulatory and municipal compliance.

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