Policy Recommendations New Jersey

2019-2020 Improvements and Recommendations for New Jersey

New Jersey lawmakers spent much of the 2019 legislative session negotiating details of legislation to create a new adult-use commercial cannabis marketplace, though political disputes sidelined those efforts until 2020. However Governor Murphy was successful in ushering in sweeping reforms to the state's medical program under the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act. The new law increases the monthly limit to 3 oz over an 18-month period, and exempts terminally ill patients from the monthly limit. It also increases from 90 days to one year the amount of cannabis that patients can secure in an effort to reduce the number of visits required by patients to obtain a sufficient supply of medicine and decrease costs to patients.

Additional features of the new law include permission of adult patients to consume edibles (previously only available to minors), a 3-year phase out of government taxes imposed on medical cannabis, and expansion of health practitioner classifications authorized to recommend cannabis beyond physicians to include physician assistants and advanced practice nurses. The measure includes other cost-saving and flexibility provisions, such as allowing patients to have up to two caregivers, authorizing delivery, and increasing the number of licensed dispensaries from six to twelve. Additional provisions cover employment protections for registered patients, storefronts to list product pricing information online consistent with in-store pricing, and reciprocity.

In the November 2020 elections, New Jersey voters chose to legalize cannabis for all adults across the state.

In addition, NJ organized expanded access features for patients under COVID, permitting pre-ordering, curbside pickup, delivery, and telehealth for physician evaluations. For 2021 ASA encourages NJ to expand civil discrimination protections in the areas of housing, parental rights and organ transplants.