Governor-elect Phil Murphy supports legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Jersey, and other advocates are hoping lawmakers act on a bill to do that within a hundred days of Murphy's inauguration.
Scott Rudder is president of New Jersey CannaBusiness Association. He says after legislation is enacted, it'll take several months to develop regulations, license sellers, and grow the product.
"We really are looking at early 2019 on a very aggressive schedule, but more than likely mid 2019 is when we would see most of the retail sales coming on line."
Ken Wolski with the Coalition for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey recommends other steps in the meantime.
"We would certainly like to see a decriminalization almost immediately so the arrests stop and so the harm that is done to our society by the current policy of prohibition stops."
Wolski believes people are willing to pay a higher price to get marijuana without the fear of being arrested.
“When you legalize marijuana in New Jersey, you’re having marijuana available for people that is government inspected. We know the source of it. We know that it’s not contaminated. We know its cannabinoid content. And even though it may be cheaper at the black market, you’re getting a much better product that people do not have any legal repercussions for using.”
Advocates say legalization would create tens of thousands of jobs and boost the state's economy.