TRENTON, NJ - Today, Governor Phil Murphy signed Jake's Law and moved New Jersey ahead with the most progressive medical cannabis law in the country, according to lawmakers.
"After holding several hearings around the state to build a partnership with the people, Jake’s Law, the most progressive medical cannabis law in the country, will improve the quality of life for people who are most in need of medical cannabis," Assemblyman Joe Danielsen a local resident said in a statement. "I want to thank the hard work of the speaker and governor in getting this legislation signed into law."
Jake's Law is named after 7-year-old Jake Honig, of Howell, who passed away on January 21, 2018, after a battle with brain cancer, according to published reports.
Danielsen says the bill was 18 months in the making, and it is a step forward for cannabis patients, scientific research, medical advancements, and education, while assuring a friendly business environment in New Jersey.
"Benefits of this new law include phasing out the sales tax on medical cannabis after 3 years, expanding dispensary licenses, and eliminating requirements that patients have to recertify their condition multiple times a year," Danielsen said in a statement.
Original June 20 article:
The medicinal marijuana bill passed Thursday night in the New Jersey assembly and is off for Governor Phil Murphy to sign.
The bill was sponsored by three assemblymen and three assemblywomen.
Local resident, Assemblyman Joseph Danielsen of District 17 in Middlesex and Somerset was one of the main authors for the bill (A20).
"We passed the Medical Marijuana bill in the Assembly," Danielsen told TAPinto. "This legislation is the product of an exhaustive effort by my colleagues, medical professions and counselors, industry experts and community members."
According to the 115-page cannabis law, it revises requirements to authorize and access medical cannabis; establishes a Cannabis Regulatory Commission; revises permit requirements for alternative treatment centers; and establishes additional legal protections for patients and caregivers.
Danielsen says the bill will drastically expand all areas of the industry, starting with better access for patients, increases study in the sciences, and education curriculums within colleges and universities.
"Bill A20 provides entry-point benefits for disabled veterans, minorities and women so that they have easier access to be business license holders within the industry," Danielsen said. "We have provided protections for employers and employees, protections for doctors and institutions while eliminating government red tape."
If approved by Murphy the bill would provide health care practitioners more flexibility when prescribing medicinal marijuana.
"Health care practitioner" means a physician, advanced practice nurse, or physician assistant licensed or certified pursuant to Title 45 of the Revised Statutes who:
possesses active registrations to prescribe controlled dangerous substances issued by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety;
College campuses are being encouraged to continue working on curriculum based on cannabis studies. Topics of research ranging from cultivation, chemistry, analytics, chemical processing and pharmacological.
There will also be home deliveries by certified companies.
According to the 115-page bill it states:
Delivery of medical cannabis shall only be made to a registered qualifying patient at the patient’s home or secondary address, to the patient’s designated caregiver at the caregiver’s home address, or directly to the patient’s institutional caregiver at the health care facility where the patient is a current patient or resident; except that the commission shall establish a process for registered qualifying patients to request delivery directly to the patient at an alternate address in cases of need.
"Some people like to espouse the dangers of Marijuana; which is a naturally growing weed," Danielsen said. "There has never been a single overdose of marijuana in history."
Danielsen says he thinks the focus should be on a more dangerous plant, sugar. He says it is more dangerous and addictive than weed, and it kills more people every day by contributing to medical and health issues from obesity to diabetes.
"Sugar does more harm than any other single ingredient known to modern man. If you want to improve our society - they begin eliminating sugar, not marijuana," Danielsen said. "The other funny reality is that sugar is the tallest weed in the world - while Marijuana is the highest weed in the world."
The bill was also sponsored by Assemblywoman Joann Downey, District 11 (Monmouth); Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin, District 29 (Essex); Assemblyman, Andrew Zwicker, District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset); Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, District 11 (Monmouth) and District 7 (Burlington). The bill was also co-sponsored by Assemblyman Clinton Calabrese, Assemblywomen Angela McKnight, Mila Pamela Jasey, Lampitt, Annette Quijano, Yvonne Lopez and Assemblyman John McKeon.
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