New Jersey this week became the latest northeast state to legalize marijuana for adult use, joining Massachusetts at the New York border.

Advocates hope this will New York to follow suit after the measure has stalled for years in the state Legislature. 

“The fact the governor signed it immediately, basically, I think should push New York to passing our own legalization bill this year,” said Melissa Moore of the Drug Policy Alliance. 

But there could be major differences between the two states’ laws, skewing what would be competing markets as cross-border sales are inevitable. 

“Broadly speaking at a very high level, they’ll be quite similar,” said Jennifer Cabrera, an attorney with Vicente Sederberg, a firm that has helped shape marijuana legalization laws and regulations. “When you look at the details, not all that similar.”

New Jersey’s law has taken an even more serpentine path than the debate across the river. Voters last year approved of the move through a constitutional referendum, and a series of measures were approved in the Legislature, culminating with “clean up” bill approved this week by Gov. Phil Murphy. 

Both states will likely have limits on where retail outlets can be placed and social equity funds

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