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53 Percent of NJ Voters Say Yes to Recreational Weed If It Lowers Taxes

For residents of the Garden State, lower taxes could be a point of interest in the question of legal recreational cannabis.

A.J. Herrington

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53 Percent of NJ Voters Say Yes to Recreational Weed If It Lowers Taxes
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A poll of voters in New Jersey has determined that more than half would be in favor of legalizing recreational cannabis if it resulted in lower taxes, according to a report in local media.

In the survey, 44 percent of those polled said that they supported legalizing recreational cannabis for adults, while 31 percent said they were opposed to the idea. When respondents were asked if they supported the legalization of marijuana if it would lower property taxes, more than half, 53 percent, said that they would. Those still opposed to legalization dropped to 24 percent of the group surveyed.

The poll was commissioned by Nuka Enterprises, a cannabis edibles manufacturer, and conducted by research firm TargetSmart. Researchers contacted 1,500 registered voters in New Jersey between August 9 and August 19 via cell phone and landline to complete the study. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. Results of the private survey were obtained by NJ Advance Media.

Nuka Enterprises manufactures cannabis edibles under the brand 1906. Last month, former New Jersey Gov. James Florio joined the company’s advisory board. In a release announcing his new relationship with the company, Florio said that the residents of his state are ready for legal cannabis.

“The people of New Jersey have recognized and acknowledged the importance of cannabis legalization as a medicinal, social justice and economic issue, and that the time for responsible change has come,” Florio said. “I am proud to be partnering with Nuka who have been recognized for their safe, innovative and progressive approach to the cannabis edibles market.”

Legalization Coming To The Garden State

The legalization of cannabis is currently in the works in New Jersey. Gov. Phil Murphy ran for office with legal pot as one of the planks of his campaign platform. Murphy has said that he wants the legislature to pass a marijuana legalization so that he can sign it by the end of the year.

Legislators are working on a bill and the taxation of commercial cannabis businesses is sure to be part of any bill that makes it to the governor’s desk. But so far, neither lawmakers nor Murphy have proposed that revenue raised from the cannabis industry be tied to tax relief elsewhere in the budget.

In early budget proposals for next year made by Murphy in March, the governor expected the state to take in $60 million from the sale of legal recreational marijuana anticipated to begin in January. But when legalization had not been passed in the first 100 days of his term as Murphy had hoped, just $20 million in revenue from an expansion of the state’s medical marijuana made it into the final budget he signed in July.

At that time, the governor said that the legalization of recreational cannabis was still on the horizon for New Jersey.

“I can’t score anything when there’s no bill but I think there’s a broad commitment among all of us — I think I can speak for all of us — to try to get that over the goal line sooner than later,” Murphy said.

Senate President Steve Sweeney agreed and said that he and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin were determined to complete work on drafting cannabis legalization measures before autumn.

“We are rounding the corner on marijuana,” Sweeney said. “I know the speaker and I are committed to getting the marijuana bills done this summer. That’s our goal. So marijuana is something we’re gonna get done.”

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