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Marijuana legislation inches ahead despite Christie warning

(DailyProgress) Christie won't sign the legislation, Scutari concedes, but Democrats say they want to lay the groundwork for the new administration, which voters will pick in November. That groundwork includes introducing legislation in February, followed by hearings as well as a fact-finding mission that Scutari led late last year to Colorado for an up-close look at how regulations and other details are working. Businesses that could move into New Jersey if legalization goes forward are watching developments with an eager eye. One such firm is Terra Tech, a marijuana agriculture company. The firm owns Edible Garden, a retailer of locally grown herbs and vegetables. Terra Tech CEO Derek Peterson said the company is looking to using its facilities to cultivate cannabis in New Jersey and that the firm welcomes the chance to work with regulators. "(Legalization) will do great things for our economy and residents, and I believe it will happen quickly when the Governor leaves office," he said. The candidates for governor have a range of views on marijuana legalization, but none so far have shown the kind of visceral opposition that Christie has displayed. A top Democratic prospect for governor, Phil Murphy, said he supports legalization. Democratic candidate John Wisniewski, an assemblyman, supports decriminalizing marijuana and creating a legal framework for a market. State Sen. Ray Lesniak says he backs decriminalizing marijuana but isn't entirely convinced of full legalization. Former Clinton administration official Jim Johnson backs legalization, and former Teaneck fireman and Democratic candidate Bill Brennan is supportive of legalization as well.

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