New Jersey is currently mulling over whether or not to legalize marijuana within its borders, and now the mayor of the state’s gambling hub is preparing for such a possibility.
According to NJ.com, Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam and several state lawmakers are planning a short trip to Las Vegas later this week to learn about the city’s recreational and medical marijuana businesses. Nevada voters approved recreational marijuana in 2016, and the sales kicked off back in July.
“The key for me is to get more knowledge on how they rolled out the process and understand the pros and cons,” Gilliam told NJ Advance Media. “They have gaming like we do, so I want to figure out how those things coexist, and figure out to make it work for Atlantic City.”
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, campaigned under a promise to legalize weed.
The Garden State is currently hoping the U.S. Supreme Court rules that a 1992 federal statute known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is unconstitutional because it violates states’ rights. That same logic would apply to marijuana, which is opposed by the Trump Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
In addition to New Jersey’s all-out attack on PASPA and interest in marijuana despite the murky waters at the federal level, the state has also strongly pushed back against Congressional efforts to ban internet gambling. New Jersey’s online casinos are credited with reversing a long losing streak for the Atlantic City casino industry.
Despite a commercial cannabis market, Las Vegas casino regulators have prohibited casino industry involvement in the sector. The Nevada Gaming Policy Committee, headed by Gov. Brian Sandoval, met late last year to discuss possible “intersections” between gambling and weed.