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Will Recreational Decriminalization Boost New Jersey Marijuana Stocks?

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Dec. 10 2020, Updated 11:54 a.m. ET

Since voters in New Jersey decided to decriminalize marijuana usage on Nov. 3, members of the Assembly and Senate have been debating issues about cultivation license limits and social justice funding provisions. Recreational use of marijuana by adults aged 21 and older will be legalized as of January 21, 2021. 

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Investors are interested in various cannabis stocks' potential. They have been looking at growers, sellers, and companies that are considered “cannabis-adjacent,” according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. As more states decriminalize marijuana usage, the market is poised to grow. 

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What’s included in New Jersey's marijuana decriminalization bill?

A compromise has been reached among lawmakers in New Jersey regarding recreational marijuana legalization. Marijuana Business Daily reported that the new compromise, which is expected to be put to an official vote on Dec. 17, agrees on two main points. 

The first stipulation is placing a limit of 37 maximum cultivation licenses to be granted in the first two years. The only exception to this rule is for smaller businesses with fewer than 10 employees. Smaller businesses will be able to apply for micro licenses. 

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The second stipulation is for 70 percent of sales tax revenue, plus the revenue from another “grower” tax, to be allocated for programs that aid communities who are “disproportionately” impacted by the war on drugs. Mentoring, legal aid, and healthcare are among the types of programs that the sales tax revenue will support.  

What's New Jersey's marijuana expungement?

Part of the New Jersey bill provides for a virtual expungement of prior marijuana possession convictions, according to Marijuana Moment.  Convicted individuals would have that part of their record erased.

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A press release by Senate President Pro Tempore M. Teresa Ruiz said that the bill would decriminalize marijuana possession along with first offenses of low-level distribution. She called it “yet another step towards bringing justice and equity to historically impacted communities.” 

New Jersey marijuana stocks

Since the marijuana market continues to be volatile, it may be wise to invest in cannabis ETFs to provide for portfolio diversification.  

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Dan Weiskopf, a portfolio manager with New York-based Toroso Investments, said that for individual investors, “buying a basket of companies is the less risky approach than trying to pick the winning stock yourself.” 

According to The Street, other marijuana companies in New Jersey that are publicly traded are Columbia Care (CCHWF); Compassionate Care, owned by Acreage Holdings (ACRHF); Curaleaf NJ; Rise, owned by Green Thumb Industries (GTBIF); and TerrAscend (TRSSF).   

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marijuana stocks in new jersey
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What New Jersey marijuana companies to invest in

The annual recreational cannabis sales in New Jersey may reach up to $950 million by 2024, according to MJBizDaily. Some New Jersey marijuana companies have focused on building their infrastructure in recent months while they wait for the results of the legalization vote.

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MJBizDaily said in July that industry insiders expected that the New Jersey marijuana market would be “one of the hottest on the East Coast once recreational sales actually begin.” 

Acreage Holdings is among the roster of marijuana companies in New Jersey that have been preparing for a surge in business. The company has been expanding its product line of cartridges and vape products in New Jersey.  

Garden State Dispensary is another marijuana company in New Jersey focused on expanding the cultivation capacity. 

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