The 10 years old New Jersey medical marijuana program is now turning into a national model, and it is expected to simplify the patient qualification process for medical marijuana.
It is expected that Jake Hoing Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act will legalize the cannabis-infused edibles, and with this, patients will be able to register for medical marijuana cards with ease. Note that, this act passed recently with 65 to 5 votes; however, four assembly members didn’t vote for the program. This is definitely great news for patients in New Jersey as they will now be able to avail easy access to marijuana for pain relief, therapy, and treatment.
The chances are that Senate will approve this medical marijuana expansion plan on 30th May and then it will be transferred to Gov. Phil Murphy.
Although edibles were a part of the medical marijuana bill passed in the year 2009, it was recommended for minors only to avail easy access to edibles from marijuana companies. With this, many patients need to work hard to extract the pure form of medical marijuana oil for cooking infused baked goods so that they can consume cannabis orally. Many patients even left New Jersey to other states so that they could gain easy access to medical marijuana companies with simplified laws.
In the Honig Act, experts removed the “bona fide relationship” so that new patients could be a part of the medical marijuana program.
As per the current law, patients need to maintain a healthy relationship with the doctors. They must stay in touch with doctors for at least one year to get recommendations.
But if the new law passes, this requirement will be removed. It means doctors are not bound to recommend medical marijuana like most other treatments. Instead of meeting doctors every 90 days, the Honig Act allows patients to avail annual rectification. With this, they can buy medications easily from marijuana companies.
With this new bill, the purchased quantity of medical marijuana will also be increased from 2 to 3 ounces. Note that, Honig act was added to legislature almost one year ago, but at the time it was tied to Garden State stalled bill for weed legalization. With this combination, legislators tried to win over no votes condition for weed legalization.
Senate Health and Assembly Appropriation committee, on this Monday, passed the modified version of 100-page legislation. The amendments also include the creation of a Cannabis Regulatory Commission that will improve qualifying conditions for patients along with oversees enforcement and NJ marijuana dispensary licenses.
The new Honig Act will also allow NJ marijuana dispensary to deliver medical marijuana to the patients, and it can be done either with the help of third parties or via their own staff. So, this model of legislation also includes job creation opportunities in the cannabis industry. However, not all these amendments received a positive response from activists.
Note that, instead of increasing the sales taxes on medical marijuana, the new bill is expected to remove them all at once in the year 2025. But it clearly doesn’t mean that medical marijuana will be completely tax-free; the municipalities will still be able to pose their 2% tax on cannabis purchases from NJ marijuana dispensary.