"The governor signed the bills after both the Senate and Assembly held last-minute voting sessions Monday morning to pass a third bill establishing civil penalties for those under 21 caught with marijuana. Protracted debate drew the voting sessions out, and the bill passed both chambers with only 20 minutes left for Murphy to act on the first two measures.
Murphy said the legal marijuana marketplace would begin forming in the coming months. He will still have to fully seat the Cannabis Regulatory Commission to oversee the marijuana industry, which has six months to set up its rules and regulations before it seeks new licensees for businesses.
While marijuana consumers will not have legal avenues to purchase it yet, arrests for thousands of possession cases should begin to cease.
“And, starting immediately, those who had been subject to an arrest for petty marijuana possession — an arrest that may have kept them from a job or the opportunity to further their education — will be able to get relief and move forward,” Murphy said.
The decriminalization bill signed Monday allows people to possess up to six ounces of marijuana without legal consequence."
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