Legal pot maybe dead for now in NJ, medical marijuana to see some changes

David Madden
May 18, 2019 - 4:00 am
Medical marijuana.

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TRENTON, NJ (KYW Newsradio) — The Murphy Administration says come Monday the New Jersey medical marijuana program will be undergoing some changes.

These changes were announced just before the move to legalize recreational marijuana was killed in favor of a proposal to change the state’s constitution.

The moves are part of the governor’s backup plan that’s been in the works for a while now.

Assistant Health Commissioner Jeff Brown says one change involves the permitting process.

“Under our old rules, it was required that dispensaries did everything,” Brown told KYW Newsradio. “They had to cultivate the cannabis, they had to process it into extracted forms if they chose to do that and then dispense it to patients. Now we’re going to allow for businesses to specialize in one or more parts of the supply chain.”

That’ll expand business opportunities. The other major change will streamline the process for deciding what medical conditions qualify for the program.

“It took six months to a year to review petitions and then come to a conclusion,” Brown added. “We’re now going to be able to act more quickly as medical evidence becomes available to support medical cannabis for various conditions.”

Legislators are also expected to take up additional changes in the law this summer, including expanding availability and the amount a patient can obtain at any one time.