Employers forecast challenges in age of recreational cannabis

Part of the Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Talent Network South meeting at Stockton's Atlantic City Campus Center, it was led by Bridget Hill-Zayat, a lawyer who focuses mainly on the energy and cannabis industries.

She works with the Hoban Law Group of Philadelphia and teaches a cannabis law class at Stockton.

“It’s developing extremely quickly,” said Hill-Zayat of legislation to legalize the psychoactive weed in New Jersey. She predicted recreational cannabis will become legal next year in the state.

A 140-page bill called the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act could be considered by the full Legislature as early as Dec. 17.

The bill sets up a regulatory framework for treating cannabis like alcohol, restricting its sale to those 21 and older; taxing it at about 12 percent, with 2 percent potentially going to municipalities; and regulating who can sell it.

It would allow for more points of sale in cities with high rates of marijuana arrests, including Atlantic City.

There are no protections for medical marijuana users under current New Jersey law, but a bill to expand its medical use includes some job protections and is moving through the Legislature, Hill-Zayat said.