Medical Marijuana New Jersey Update
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 10/21/2012 in Medical Marijuana Laws
Medical marijuana New Jersey laws are among the strictest in the country—and thanks to Governor Christie’s proposed rules, it may be even harder for medical marijuana New Jersey patients to access the medicine they need.
The regulations are receiving much criticism, especially from Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, who has appealed to Gov. Chris Christie and his administration to rescind the medical marijuana New Jersey regulations, as well as members of NJ NORML, who organized a peaceful demonstration on Monday, October 18 on the front steps of the State House in Trenton to protest the strict rules.
The bill that former Gov. Jon Corzine signed into law in January called for six regional centers that would grow and sell medical pot to eligible patients. But regulations drafted by the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services have reduced that number to four dispensaries and two growing sites to supply all of the medical marijuana in New Jersey.
The medical marijuana New Jersey regulations also put extreme limitations on the number of strains available at NJ dispensaries, as well as the percentage of THC allowed in each strain. According to the proposed regulations, there will only be three strains of medical cannabis available to patients in New Jersey, and they cannot have a THC content greater than 10%. These limitations have received much criticism from the medical marijuana community since it will likely require patients to use more medication (due to the low THC content). Others are worried it will encourage patients to get stronger and more varied medication from the black market. Many patients are accustomed to strains with THC content of up to 18%.
Additionally, the regulations propose a $20,000 application fee, which will surely shut out small businesses from participating in the medical marijuana New Jersey industry.
Gov. Christie has defended the strict rules and said they will ensure that “distribution is medicinal, not recreational.” However, the law sets up a medical marijuana card program, which will in itself prohibit recreational users from accessing the dispensaries. Medical marijuana New Jersey patients are standing by to see what the future will hold once the laws go into effect.