It's been eighteen months, give or take, since we lambasted former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for giving an incendiary speech against the evils of the demon weed. Christie was blowing hot that day... at a pharmaceutical conference... real Fire and Brimstone stuff, right out of the Hearst playbook.
The good governor had his ticket punched by the voters of his fair state - or was it term limits? ... to be replaced by a former Goldman Sachs banker named Phil Murphy with a sweet bank account and a hankering to bring the Garden State into the 21st century with regard to cannabis.
The arithmetic was pretty simple: like found-money, estimates of $60 Million in found money (i.e. annual cannabis taxes) were too good to pass up.
Not to mention that if Murphy didn't follow his New York neighbor to legalization, every one of those tax dollars, along with jobs, real estate investment, new construction, and a sharp stick in the eye of foreign black market drugs that were easily available to any middle-schooler from Paramus to Princeton, would dissipate like so much vape smoke while canny New Jerseyans took the Holland Tunnel to get the good stuff from super cool dispensaries in Manhattan.
But don't take your eye off the ball, Phil!
Not surprisingly (not even a little bit), the road to cannabliss has a few bumps. Rolling Stone Magazine reports that "Legal Weed Already Facing Backlash in New Jersey"
Well wouldn't you know, those same pharmaceutical companies are still located in New Jersey?
According to Wikipedia, there are 43 canna-rivals headquartered in New Jersey, with names that reek of wealth and power:
Johnson & Johnson R&D
And those are just the ones we've heard of.
Good luck, New Jersey - and don't take the Tunnel after 3 pm on a weekday...