Nine Months Late, Christie About To Announce Who Can Grow And Sell Medical Marijuana In Jersey

christie.jpgASSOCIATED PRESS: Today’s announcement is a major milestone in bringing medical marijuana to the most populous East Coast state to allow it. Six organizations can receive licenses to grow and distribute cannabis. The state’s rules call for the alternative treatment centers to be set up in northern, central and southern New Jersey. Several groups that wanted to be considered decided not to apply, saying the proposed state regulations are too onerous. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Chris Christie says he’s trying to ensure that medical marijuana will be used for approved patients and won’t become as easily accessible for recreational use in the Garden State as it has in California and Colorado. Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey, believes that as they are now, all the regulations will stop the program from working, and will prohibit treatment centers from even getting up and running. “It’s Kafkaesque. There are scores of pages regarding treatment centers that will make it difficult and very expensive for them to even apply, let alone operate.” MORE

PREVIOUSLY: If and when New Jersey’s Compassionate Use law goes into effect, it will be the most restrictive in the land. The list of medical conditions that would qualify patients is exceedingly short and unrelentingly grim: Cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, seizure disorders such as epilepsy, Lou Gehrig’s disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, severe muscle spasms, inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease), or any terminal illness if a doctor has determined the patient will die within a year. Qualified patients will be restricted to two ounces per month (by comparison, Washington state allows patients up to 24 ounces every 60 days). Unlike all 13 of the other states that have passed medical marijuana laws, Garden State residents will not be allowed to grow their own. For the sick and cash-strapped, this is the law’s biggest bummer.MORE

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