January 24, 2018, New Jersey
New Jersey’s new governor, Phil Murphy, has started to show his marijuana-friendly streaks within a week after assuming the office. He has recently passed an executive order to increase the scope of MMJ program in the state.
Marijuana reforms were one of the main talking points of his gubernatorial campaign. Murphy pledged to pass the legislation regarding legalization of recreational cannabis. State lawmakers are now working on the bill of adult-use legislation. Meanwhile, the governor has signed an order to alleviate the difficulties of thousands of MMJ patients of the state.
Murphy termed the current MMJ program of the state an ineffective piece of legalization, which was passed eight years ago and didn’t see any improvements during the term of previous governor.
According to the executive order, the state’s MMJ program needs to incorporate modern research studies that have been conducted in these eight years. Murphy has also noted that the state is serving very few marijuana patients as compared to other states. For instance Michigan, that nearly has same population as New Jersey, is serving more than 200,000 patients with its MMJ program. It’s worth mentioning that New Jersey only has 15,000 registered MMJ patients.
The fact that only five MMJ dispensaries are serving all the patients also highlights the importance of revamping and expanding the existing MMJ program. According to Murphy’s own statement on the twitter, they are turning the page by expanding the usefulness of MMJ program of the state. As per the order, decisions regarding the use of MMJ must be based on scientific research and not on social predilection and dogmas. Here are given some of the important points from the Governor’s executive order and directions to the concerned departments and authorities:
Commencement of Review
The state’s health department and Medical Examiners Board shall commence on to review and revise all aspects of the New Jersey’s MMJ program by keeping focus on expanding the access of patients to medical marijuana. This undertaking must focus on:
- An assessment to make sure that no unnecessary impediments are there in the way of expansion in terms of retail and cultivation operations
- An evaluation of existing licensing process and suggestions to speed up the process
- Ensuring a convenient examination process of the conditions
- Reviewing the list of qualifying condition and to advise whether physicians should be given an authority to prescribe MMJ on their own
- Recommendations to improve patients and caregiver access to MMJ products
- An assessment of the regulations governing the methods of administrations of medical marijuana
- Highlighting any other glitches in the MMJ program colliding with the primary objective of the program
Timeline for Review
All these reviews, assessments and evaluations must be concluded within 60 days after signing of the order. Immediately afterwards, the board and department shall move forward with setting up respective amendments in line with the order.
The order goes immediately into effect.
The order has been signed by the Governor on Jan 23. Now we have to wait and watch how it will facilitate the MMJ patients in coming months.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]