Houghtaling & Downey Bill Expanding Patient Access to Medical Cannabis Heads to Governor’s Desk

TRENTON - The State Assembly and Senate last week approved legislation introduced by Assemblywoman Joann Downey which would dramatically expand patient access to medical cannabis, removing existing limits on the quantity of medical cannabis that patients can qualify for and expanding access to edible forms of cannabis, including oils.

“Although medical marijuana proved to be an effective treatment for Jake, his parents experienced difficulties with the cost, quantity limits, and issues related to producing their own cannabis oil to administer to Jake,” said Downey, D-Freehold.

“This bill removes certain restrictions on access to medical marijuana and will reduce the suffering and improve the quality of life of patients like Jake. We greatly appreciate Governor Murphy’s efforts to build this important legislation into a comprehensive and agreeable form, and look forward to seeing it signed into law.”

The bill (A-20) revises state law to allow more patients with debilitating medical conditions to obtain access to medical cannabis. It also removes limits on how much medical marijuana a patient may obtain during a single visit. The bill would also rename existing medical cannabis law to the “Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act,” in honor of eight-year-old Howell Township resident Jake “The Tank” Honig, who battled a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer from the age of two and found effective relief from nausea, vomiting, and agitation in the form of medical cannabis.

“There are many patients like Jake and families like the Honigs in New Jersey,” said Houghtaling. “They deserve expanded access to medical marijuana as part of a medicinal regimen to reduce their pain and suffering. Beyond that, they need access to other types of products - not just in capsule form - that work most efficiently to meet their unique needs. We’ll be glad to see these patients finally get the treatment that they deserve, and we deeply thank the Honig family for the tireless efforts and advocacy that made this expansion possible.”


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