New Jersey lawmakers in two legislative committees will begin hearings on Monday for a marijuana legalization deal announced by Gov. Phil Murphy last week. The Assembly Appropriations Committee and the Senate Judiciary committees are scheduled to consider the Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act when they meet on Monday. If the bill is approved by both committees, it could be up for a floor vote as soon as March 25.

Murphy said last week that legal cannabis could provide New Jersey with new economic opportunities.

“It is an industry [that] has taken root around the country. [It] has proven to generate thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of economic activity,” Murphy said.

The governor acknowledged in a radio appearance that cannabis legalization is still a controversial topic and offered a pragmatic approach to the issue.

“I don’t think any of us think it’s a no-brainer, and I don’t blame folks for not automatically getting there,” said Murphy. “But we’re not inventing marijuana. It exists. It’s in our communities. Our kids are exposed to it. The social injustices of the past exist. So if we can undo those social injustices, get the business out of the hands of the

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