On July 2, 2019, Gov. Phil Murphy signed the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act into law. The law set a new foundation for New Jersey’s medical cannabis program — one that is patient centered, compassionate, and scientifically focused. Since the beginning of the Murphy Administration — when only 17,000 patients were enrolled — the program has enrolled 63,000 new patients for a total of 80,000 New Jersey residents who are getting the help they need.
Over the past year, we’ve also made tremendous progress in implementing its provisions — from increased purchase limits, to relaxed regulation of physician-patient relationships, to new kinds of medical cannabis products and even authorizing home delivery — but more needs to be done.
Jake Honig, the namesake of the law, was a young boy from Howell who tragically passed in 2018 after being diagnosed in 2012 with an incurable form of cancer. For Jake and his family, medical cannabis was a last resort. But as his father, Mike, has noted, it worked wonders and allowed Jake to be a kid again, to enjoy quality time with family and friends in his final days with less pain, less anxiety, and less harsh side effects of other medications. Unfortunately, the previous law limited what Jake’s parents could purchase to 2 ounces every month, an arbitrary cap that left them often unable to purchase as much as they needed and threatened to derail the benefits they were seeing in their son. Thanks to their advocacy, no patient in New Jersey will ever face that dilemma again.