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New Jersey: Governor Signs Legislation Amending Aspects Of State’s Medical Cannabis Program

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director September 23, 2013

    Republican Gov. Chris Christie has signed legislation, Senate Bill 2842, into law modifying aspects of the state’s medical marijuana regulations.

    Specifically, the law amends requirements that state-licensed medical cannabis producers and distributors be limited to providing patients with no more than three strains of the plant – a regulatory rule that has been in place since the program’s inception some three years ago. Proponents of the rule change argued that lifting the three-strain cap will foster the production and distribution of varieties of cannabis high in CBD (cannabidiol) content. Cannabidiol is a non-psychotropic cannabinoid that possesses a variety of therapeutic properties. However, it is typically present at relatively low levels in conventional strains of marijuana, which typically are bred to possess higher quantities of THC – the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

    Senate Bill 2842 also allows for cannabis distributors to produce marijuana-infused edible products. However, at the insistence of the Governor, consumption of such products will be limited to those age 18 and younger.

    Governor Christie previously vetoed language that sought to streamline regulations so that qualified patients under the age of 18 could more readily access medicinal cannabis.

    Under present New Jersey law, authorized patients may only obtain medical cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries. To date, however, few facilities are actively up and running. Earlier this month, the state’s Economic Developmental Authority approved a $375,000 loan to the Compassionate Care Foundation dispensary, which plans to open its doors in mid-October.

    23 Responses to “New Jersey: Governor Signs Legislation Amending Aspects Of State’s Medical Cannabis Program”

    1. Anonymous1 says:

      Half way there! Good reporting NORML

    2. RUT says:

      IT SOUNDS LIKE BUREAUCRATS WANT TO DO TO THE CANNABIS BUSINESS WHAT THEY DID TO ABORTION CLINICS, REGULATE SO MUCH THAT IT DOESN’T SURVIVE. EDIBLES FOR ONLY 18 AND YOUNGER! WHAT A JOKE!

      REMEMBER CHRISTIE WHEN HE RUNS FOR PRESIDENT!

    3. Galileo Galilei says:

      “Senate Bill 2842 also allows for cannabis distributors to produce marijuana-infused edible products. However, at the insistence of the Governor, consumption of such products will be limited to those age 18 and younger.’

      Is this correct? 18 and YOUNGER!! What could possibly the motivation?

    4. Tsup says:

      Edible MJ products available to those 18 and younger? While I started at less than 18, I don’t think toddlers are what he had in mind.

    5. Mtoot says:

      The article nails it, but fails to make the connection; by not allowing strain experimentation and preventing cbd varieties from being developed, the efficacy of the program suffers and critics can point to that as evidence cannabis doesn’t work as medicine. Also, keeping edibles out of the hands of over 18 seems like a backdoor attempt to keep people from using them and showing their effectiveness. Sneaky.

    6. clay says:

      I think he meant that if you’re younger than 18 you can only have medables. “No smoking” for minors.

    7. Anon says:

      Wait this can’t be right so if you’re 19 and older you are not allowed to eat edibles this makes no sense. Can someone check and see if this is right? I can understand patients under 18 being only allowed to eat edibles.

      [Paul Armentano replies: The statement is correct. The Governor insisted on the availability of cannabis oils/tinctures for adolescents as an alternative to smoking, but for reasons that were his and his alone, he insisted that no one over the age of 18 have access to nonsmoked forms of cannabis.]

    8. bobwv says:

      Thank you. Don’t let our children die.

    9. Drew says:

      So apparently Christie is such a strong believer that smoked and/or vaporized marijuana is such effective medicine that adults should do that instead of being allowed to eat it. Sounds like he needs to go convince those who claim smoked cannabis isn’t medicine.

    10. Dave Evans says:

      Hello Paul, could maybe those reasons included having a bit of dyslexia? Seriously, banning adults from not smoking would seem the logical action of someone who literally gets various ideas completely backward inside their heads. The ideas work fine in reality, but once their brains start processing it, it all goes to shit.

      Here is a guy that want to run for president, but doesn’t want to do what the people want him to. But he still thinks he’ll make a good president. How Christie? You have to listen to your people. Not give them excuses about how you cannot follow their direction. We are done pretending marijuana is not medicine and we are done with pretending it is a reason to be arresting people.

      Meanwhile, Christie is still trying to figure out how to tie the state’s medical marijuana program in knots with endless regulations that do not make sense–the very thing Rebulicans say they hate. The whole party is becoming a dyslexic party–Everything we campaign for is something we fight against once in office.

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