New Jersey To Relax Medical Marijuana Rules

Medical Marijuana
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By WCBS Newsradio 880

TRENTON (WCBS 880) — New rules surrounding medical marijuana will take effect next week in New Jersey.

The biggest change will affect how permits are handed out to businesses and the industry will be divided into three groups: cultivators, manufacturers and retailers.

“Businesses that focus on cultivating medical cannabis, we'll have businesses that can focus solely on taking the raw plant material and turning it into medicinal product like pills, syrup, things of that nature. And then we'll have businesses that can focus on the patient care side of things like dispensing and working with both patients and physicians,” said Jeff Brown, the state's Assisting Commissioner for Medical Marijuana.

Prior to the law change, businesses in New Jersey had to perform all three roles.

Brown says the changes will increase competition, help drive down costs and even help small businesses grow, “because they don't have to have expertise in every area of the supply chain.”

The changes will give way to allow new businesses to become more specialized in different processes.

The new rules, which take effect on May 20, also will get rid of the requirement that minor patients must be recommended by a psychiatrist before they are enrolled in the program.

The Health Commissioner will also be allowed to add medical conditions that qualify patients for the program and will eliminate the requirement for multiple public hearings over a six-month time period.