New Jersey Assembly Advances Medical Cannabis Program Expansion Bill

The New Jersey General Assembly has voted to advance legislation to improve access to medical cannabis in the state.

The measure, which has bipartisan sponsorship, passed the full Assembly on Tuesday with a 65-5 vote with six abstentions.

“For many suffering from critical and chronic illnesses, increasing access to medicinal cannabis will mean the difference between being able to participate in life or having to suffer every day with intense pain and debilitating symptoms,” said Speaker Craig Coughlin [D] in a statement. “Families, veterans, and ailing individuals deserve access to medicine with benefits.”

The bill, A-10-3740-3437, would establish the Cannabis Regulatory Commission which would manage the implementation and regulation of medical cannabis in New Jersey.

The commission would be tasked regulating cultivation and wholesale and retail sales as well as creating a new caregiver category for patients, such as seniors, who require assistance.

“We want to put patients and doctors back in charge of a patient’s medical care plan,” said Representative Carol Murphy. “These are the reasonable changes to the current system we need to make patient care and their individual needs a priority and support them wherever they are in their lives.”

Having gained the approval from the Assembly, the bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.