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A 10 - Expands the Medical Marijuana Program - New Jersey Key Vote

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Title: Expands the Medical Marijuana Program

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that expands the medical marijuana program.

Highlights:

 

  • Authorizes medical cannabis alternative treatment centers issued permits to operate as one of the following (Sec. 3):

    • A medical cannabis cultivator, meaning an organization authorized to possess and cultivate cannabis and handle for transportation, supply, and sell medical cannabis and related supplies to other medical cannabis cultivators and manufacturers, wholesalers, clinical registrants, and dispensaries, along with being authorized to plant, cultivate, grow, and harvest medical cannabis for research;

    • A medical cannabis dispensary, meaning an organization authorized to purchase or obtain medical cannabis and related supplies from cultivators, purchase or obtain medical cannabis products and related supplies from manufacturers, or purchase and obtain cannabis products and supplies from other dispensaries or wholesalers and clinical registrants, handle medical cannabis products (including the display, sale, and dispense of medical cannabis, products, and paraphernalia, and related supplies to qualifying patients, designative caregivers, and institutional caregivers);

    • A medical cannabis manufacturer, meaning an organization authorized to purchase or obtain medical cannabis and related supplies from cultivator, wholesaler, other manufacturer, or clinical registrant, and produce, manufacture, or otherwise create medical cannabis products, handle medical cannabis products and related supplies including tasks like transport and supply to other manufacturers, dispensaries, wholesalers, and clinical registrants, but not to qualifying patients, designated caregivers, or institutional caregivers; or

    • A medical cannabis wholesaler, meaning an organization authorized to acquire medical cannabis from a medical cannabis cultivator or clinical registrant, and to resell to a cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, dispensary, or clinical registrant, acquire medical cannabis products from a medical cannabis manufacturer or clinical registrant for resale, but the wholesaler is not authorized to cultivate medical cannabis or otherwise produce or create medical cannabis products or handle medical cannabis to registered qualifying patients, designated caregivers, or institutional caregivers.

  • Defines an “academic medical center” as an entity located in New Jersey that has or is one of the following (Sec. 3):

    • Has an addiction medicine faculty practice or is in the same health care system as another facility located in New Jersey that offers outpatient medical detoxification services or inpatient treatment services for substance use disorder;

    • Has a pain management faculty practice or a facility-based pain management service located in New Jersey;

    • Has graduate medical training programs accredited or pending accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or the American Osteopathic Association in primary care and medical specialties; or

    • Is the primary teaching affiliate of a medical school based in the State and has the ability to conduct research related to medical cannabis.

  • Specifies that if the entity is part of a system of health care facilities, it shall not qualify as an academic medical center unless the healthcare system is principally located within the State (Sec. 3).

  • Defines a “clinical registrant” as an entity with a written contractual relationship with an academic medical center in the region in which it has its principal place of business which includes provisions where the parties will engage in clinical research related to use of medical cannabis and the academic medical center or its affiliate will provide advice to the entity regarding patient health and safety, medical applications, and dispensing and managing controlled dangerous substances (Sec. 3).

  • Defines a “qualifying medical condition” as seizure disorders including epilepsy, intractable skeletal muscular spasticity, post-traumatic stress disorder, glaucoma, positive status for HIV, AIDS, cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, terminal illness, Tourette’s syndrome, dysmenorrhea, opioid use disorder, if the patient has “a prognosis of less than 12 months of life”, anxiety, migraine, or any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the condition (Sec. 3).

  • Defines “terminally ill” as having an illness or condition with a prognosis of less than 12 months of life (Sec. 3).

  • Requires medical cannabis dispensed by a medical cannabis dispensary or clinical registrant to not be subject to any tax imposed under the “Sales and Use Tax Act by January 1st, 2025 (Sec. 8).

  • Authorizes municipalities where a medical cannabis dispensary is located may adopt an ordinance imposing a transfer tax on any medical cannabis dispensed by the dispensary, the rate of the tax being at the municipalities’ discretion but not exceeding 2 percent (Sec. 10).

  • Requires that the amount of medical cannabis dispensed to a qualifying patient to be no more than two and one-half ounces in dried form or the equivalent amount in any other form until July 1st, 2019, in which after that point the amount is raised to 3 ounces (Sec. 10).

  • Exempts patients who are terminally ill or receive hospice care through a licensed hospice from the above requirements, in which case patients may be dispensed an unlimited amount of medical cannabis, and patients not receiving hospice care or are not terminally ill may petition the commission for an exemption to monthly limits (Sec. 10).

  • Specifies that 15 percent of the total number of new medical cannabis cultivator permits, manufacturer permits, wholesaler permits, and dispensary permits are issued to a qualified applicant certified as a “minority business” and another 15 percent of permits percent issued to a qualified applicant certified as a “women’s business” or a “disabled-veterans’ business” (Sec. 12)

  • Establishes the Cannabis Regulatory Commission in the Department of Treasury to assume all powers, duties, and responsibilities with regard to the regulation and oversight of activities authorized from the Department of Health for the further development, expansion, regulation, and enforcement of activities associated with the medical use of cannabis, and all powers, duties, and responsibilities with regard to regulation and oversight of activities shall be transferred to the Commission as well (Sec. 31).

  • Requires the commission to meet certain criteria, including but not limited to the following (Sec. 31):

    • That the commission consisting of 5 members, one designated by the Governor as the chair, one designated the vice-chair in accordance with the appointment process;

    • That the members of the commission shall be appointed by the governor in a specific way, with 1 member appointed upon recommendation by the Senate President, 1 upon recommendation of the Speaker of the General Assembly, and 3, including the chair, appointed without any needed recommendation;

    • That the initial appointments of commission members shall not require the advice and consent of the Senate, but subsequent appointments, including reappointments of members initially appointed, be made with the advice and consent of the Senate;

    • That all 5 members be residents of the State and at least 1 member being a State representative of a national organization or a State branch of a national organization with a stated mission of studying, advocating, or adjudicating against minority historical oppression, past and present discrimination, unemployment, poverty, and income inequality, and other forms of social injustice or inequality, and all 5 members shall possess education, training, or experience with legal, policy, or criminal justice issues, corporate or industry management, finance, securities, or production or distribution, medicine or pharmacology, or public health, mental health, or substance abuse disorders;

    • That all members serve terms of 5 years and serve through their entire term and until successors have been appointed and qualified; and

    • Any member of the commission may be removed from office by the Governor for cause upon notice and opportunity to be heard at a public hearing and any member is forfeit of their office upon conviction for any crime.

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