Coughlin delays Assembly quorum, giving more time for marijuana negotiationsPosted by On


This story was updated with comment from Coughlin at 6:08 p.m.

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge) will delay the chamber’s Monday quorum until Feb. 18 to provide more time for negotiations on marijuana legalization, a source in each chamber told the New Jersey Globe.

“Significant progress has been made and we are hopeful that concerns raised will be able to be addressed,” Coughlin said in a statement released after this article was published. “I remain optimistic an agreement will be reached and that fair and responsible legislation will be advanced which will facilitate A-21 and A-1897 becoming law.”

Those bills, ones legalizing and decriminalizing adult-use marijuana, were sent to Gov. Phil Murphy 51 days ago, on Dec. 17. They’ve remained unsigned as Murphy and legislators failed to bridge an impasse over penalties for underage marijuana use.

The Assembly’s Feb. 8 meeting to introduce bills and conduct other procedural business became a deadline, one that lawmakers involved in marijuana talks were unable to meet even as they touted measured progress in negotiations. Bills that sit on the governor’s desk for 45 days become law when the chamber they originated in calls a quorum.

It’s not clear whether Coughlin is willing to repeat the maneuver if lawmakers again fail to reach a deal. Friday’s delay cancelled hearings before nine…

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This story was updated with comment from Coughlin at 6:08 p.m.

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge) will delay the chamber’s Monday quorum until Feb. 18 to provide more time for negotiations on marijuana legalization, a source in each chamber told the New Jersey Globe.

“Significant progress has been made and we are hopeful that concerns raised will be able to be addressed,” Coughlin said in a statement released after this article was published. “I remain optimistic an agreement will be reached and that fair and responsible legislation will be advanced which will facilitate A-21 and A-1897 becoming law.”

Those bills, ones legalizing and decriminalizing adult-use marijuana, were sent to Gov. Phil Murphy 51 days ago, on Dec. 17. They’ve remained unsigned as Murphy and legislators failed to bridge an impasse over penalties for underage marijuana use.

The Assembly’s Feb. 8 meeting to introduce bills and conduct other procedural business became a deadline, one that lawmakers involved in marijuana talks were unable to meet even as they touted measured progress in negotiations. Bills that sit on the governor’s desk for 45 days become law when the chamber they originated in calls a quorum.

It’s not clear whether Coughlin is willing to repeat the maneuver if lawmakers again fail to reach a deal. Friday’s delay cancelled hearings before nine…



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