With an overwhelming 70 to 1 vote, New Jersey’s full Assembly has approved a proposal to legalize cannabis infused food products for patients, as well as increase the variety of strains allowed in dispensaries. The measure has already been approved by the Senate, and now heads to the governor for final approval.
Originally the proposal, which was approved by both the Senate and Assembly in June, also included a provision to ease restrictions on youth patients, by removing the requirement that they receive written authorization from a psychiatrist and a pediatrician, in addition to a physician. Governor Chris Cristie, however, told lawmakers that he would veto the measure unless this particular section was removed. The Senate did just that, altering the bill, approving it and sending it to the House, where it was just today approved. Governor Cristie will sign the bill into law.
Currently in New Jersey, although a medical cannabis program is established to distribute cannabis, medical cannabis edibles – such as brownies – remain illegal, and dispensaries (for now, there are only one) are forced to distribute only three strains of cannabis. This new law will change this by legalizing medical cannabis edibles, as well as removing the three strain restriction for dispensaries.
This measure doesn’t stop New Jersey from having one of the strictest medical cannabis laws in the country, but it’s still a step in the right direction.