After months of will-they-won’t-they activity, both New Jersey and New York failed to deliver on legalizing adult-use cannabis. What once seemed to be foregone conclusions to many turned out to be two hard doses of reality that leaves citizens and lawmakers with a foul taste in their mouths. 

Instead of adult-use legalization, both have since pivoted to focus on expanding other cannabis parameters.

In New York, lawmakers flipped focus to expanding the state’s partial decriminalization law enacted in 1977. The move aims to address the social justice issues Governor Andrew Cuomo has championed since changing his opinion on legalization.

New Jersey responded to its failure to pass adult-use laws by expanding its medical program. The Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy this summer after the legislative session ended. The act is named after the 7-year-old who died from brain cancer. 

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