EXPLAINER: What’s impeding New Jersey’s cannabis amendment?

TRENTON, N.J. — The New Year’s Day deadline until New Jersey’s constitutional amendment authorizing recreational marijuana takes effect is fast approaching, along with the final scheduled legislative voting session of the year.

But New Jersey’s Democratic-led Legislature finds itself at an impasse over measures decriminalizing marijuana and, until late Friday, also setting up the new recreational marketplace.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and legislators said they reached an agreement on setting up the marketplace, but didn’t disclose details on Friday.

Lawmakers and lobbyists express cautious confidence that the measures will move forward, but the logjam comes even though the top two legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy largely agree on how to move forward more than a year after the trio announced their support for legalization.

Legislators have penciled in Dec. 17 for the final voting sessions of the year. On Jan. 1, the amendment that passed with support from two-thirds of the voters takes effect.

A closer look at what the sticking points are and what’s going on:



Voters overwhelmingly said yes to a constitutional amendment that legalizes a recreational marijuana market for people 21 and older. But the amendment doesn’t specify what that market would look like, beyond tasking the…

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