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Murphy, lawmakers say they reached deal on cannabis bill

December 5, 2020 GMT
FILE - In this March 22, 2019 file photo, Heather Randazzo, a grow employee at Compassionate Care Foundation's medical marijuana dispensary, trims leaves off marijuana plants in the company's grow house in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. On Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, New Jersey lawmakers advanced legislation to establish a new recreational marijuana marketplace, which voters overwhelmingly approved on the ballot earlier in the month, but differed in key details. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
FILE - In this March 22, 2019 file photo, Heather Randazzo, a grow employee at Compassionate Care Foundation's medical marijuana dispensary, trims leaves off marijuana plants in the company's grow house in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. On Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, New Jersey lawmakers advanced legislation to establish a new recreational marijuana marketplace, which voters overwhelmingly approved on the ballot earlier in the month, but differed in key details. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday he and legislative leaders have reached a deal on legislation to set up the new recreational marijuana marketplace.

Despite announcing the agreement, the governor and lawmakers did not disclose details.

“We’re proud to announce today that we’ve reached an agreement on legislation providing the framework for legalization, which is a critical step in reducing racial disparities and social inequities that have long plagued our criminal justice system,” the governor’s office said in an emailed statement.

Voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment on Election Day to legalize recreational marijuana, but legislators must still pass a measure to set up the marketplace.

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They had been at an impasse on whether to cap the number of licenses and over how much of the tax proceeds should go to towns and cities whose residents were disproportionately likely to face marijuana-related charges.

The constitutional amendment takes effect on New Year’s Day. Lawmakers have set their final voting session of the year for Dec. 17, when it’s expected they will take up the marijuana legislation.

Another pending issue is legislation on decriminalizing marijuana possession.