The anticipated recreational-marijuana boom of 2019 has stalled in the Northeast, where New Jersey lawmakers scratched a planned legalization vote and New York’s governor cast doubt on the ability to strike an agreement in his state before a budget deadline.
New Jersey had appeared poised to become the 11th state to legalize adult use, with the bid to end the state’s prohibition supported by Gov. Phil Murphy, fellow Democrats who lead the Legislature and public-opinion polls. But a scheduled vote in the Legislature was canceled Monday when boosters couldn’t overcome opposition from Republicans and some Democrats uneasy with sanctioning a drug that is outlawed by the U.S. government.
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his state risked falling behind its neighbor in the race for marijuana revenue amid doubts about whether the New York Legislature will approve a bill before April 1, the budget deadline.
While the West Coast has created a booming adult-use market, Eastern Seaboard states have been slow to catch up. Massachusetts, where sales started in November, has been hit by supply shortages. In New York and New Jersey, the hold-up is political.