Houghtaling & Downey Bill Expanding Access to Medical Cannabis Passed by Assembly

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Legislation expanding patient access to medical cannabis in New Jersey sponsored by Assembly Members Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling was approved by the State Assembly on Thursday.

“This legislation will fight for patients like Jake Honig: sick kids and adults who deserve to live their lives free of constant and chronic pain,” said Downey (D-Freehold).

“There is a path to better treatment, and an expansion of medical cannabis that allows more patients to access more options for care is how we get there.”

“Current law doesn’t allow many sick New Jerseyans to access cannabis-based medications - or, where it does, places severe restrictions on their ability to do so,” Houghtaling (D-Neptune). “These much-needed changes come together to create a system of reform that will make our laws kinder, more compassionate, and more supportive of those in need.”

The bill (A-10), which makes it easier for patients and caregivers to access medical cannabis, establishes additional legal protections for patients and caregivers, and expands the number of medical dispensaries permitted in New Jersey, would rename the State’s medical marijuana law to the “Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act,” in memory of Howell resident Jake Honig, who passed away at age 7 following a battle with brain cancer.

Under this bill, dispensaries would not be limited in the amount of medical cannabis that they could provide to patients, provided that they first consult with the patient and review the patient’s medical condition, symptoms, and treatment needs. Patients would also be able to receive cannabis in the edible form of oils, pills, and chewable medications.

Under current law, medical cannabis is subject to the New Jersey sales tax of 6.625 percent; if this bill is passed, the sales tax on medical cannabis would be phased out by 2025.

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