Since actress Cynthia Nixon stepped onto the New York gubernatorial stage earlier this year with a strong pro-marijuana platform, more and more buzz about adult-use legalization has been emanating from the state. Her Democratic primary opponent, incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo, recently announced a series of 15 statewide listening sessions regarding legalizing weed over the next couple of months.
Though the pro-weed fire has been lit in New Jersey since Gov. Phil Murphy took office in January, the Legislature has twice missed its deadlines to get a bill to the governor — and another is fast approaching.
Patrick Harrity, an associate in law firm McCarter & English’s East Brunswick office who has been representing cannabis businesses and investors for the past two years, compares where New York is now to where New Jersey was four to six months ago. As he sees it, the only issue that might arise for New Jersey is holding the attention of investors.
“The investments are the only thing I can think of that may matter as far as which state gets legalized first,” Harrity said. “All of the funding comes from private investments similar to what I’ve seen on the West Coast firsthand. An argument could be made that the private funding will go to that state legalizing first. But in my opinion, I don’t think there will be any shortage of private money available regardless of who legalizes first.”
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