With the new year, New Jersey Governor Murphy is looking to bring some changes to state law. For years, the state has made strides towards making medical marijuana more accessible for patients. This year, legislation was passed by the Governor to make this possible.
What is the Bill?
The Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was named after a 7-year old with cancer who used medical marijuana to make him more comfortable during treatment. This new bill was passed in order to expand access to medical marijuana for patients with any diagnosed medical condition. It requires the following:
- Issuance of additional dispensary permits
- Revises certain requirements concerning patients and primary caregivers in addition to requirements for physicians to authorize qualifying patients
- Improves the applications, ownership and operational requirements for alternative treatment centers
In addition to this, the authorization period will be extended from 90 days to one year. Edible forms of marijuana will also be more available to patients in need. The sales tax on medical marijuana will be phased out as well.
Changes to the Law
Once in effect, the bill will make the following changes:
- Raising the monthly limit from two ounces to three ounces. The bill raises the limit to three ounces for 18 months, then the maximum amount will be determined by regulation. Terminally ill and hospice patients will not be subject to any monthly limit.
- Extending the authorization period from 90 days to one year. The bill authorizes health care practitioners to issue up to a one-year supply.
- Edibles for adults as well as minors.
- Phase-out of sales tax. It will go down to 4 percent in July 2020, 2 percent in July 2021, and will be eliminated in July 2022.
- Allowing physician assistants and advanced practice nurses to authorize medical marijuana.
- Employment protections for patients. This prohibits employers from taking adverse employment actions against employees based on their status as medical marijuana patients.
- Multiple caregivers per patient.
- Reciprocity with other states’ medical marijuana programs. Qualifying patients in other states can be considered as such in New Jersey for up to six months.
- Price lists for dispensaries will be required to post on their websites and cannot deviate from those prices.
- Home delivery to improve patient access.
- Creation of a Cannabis Regulatory Commission. The commission consists of five members appointed by the Governor, with one each upon the recommendation of the Senate President and the Speaker.
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Kevin T. Conway is an experienced Bergen County criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need an aggressive criminal lawyer, contact The Law Office of Kevin T. Conway for a free consultation.