New Jersey is unlikely to allow its marijuana users or medical marijuana patients to grow their own cannabis plants at home, the new president of the state Senate said this month.
New York marijuana regulators are finally moving to allow medical cannabis patients in the state to grow plants for personal use, and they’ve provided an update on progress toward expunging prior marijuana conviction records.
At their second meeting on Thursday, New York’s Cannabis Control Board (CCB) voted unanimously to file the proposed regulations, which would allow qualified patients to cultivate up to six plants—indoors or outdoors—for their own therapeutic use.
As a New Jerseyan seriously harmed by cannabis prohibition, I’m concerned with the fact that even though we legalized it, people in the state can still go to jail for growing it.
I’m also concerned that people who’ve been disadvantaged by prohibition may have a hard time affording legal or medicinal cannabis and feel that home grow is an equity provision that’s an integral part of legalization for social justice.
The poll from Consensus Strategies asked New York residents about a variety of cannabis-related issues, including those related to social equity and licensing. At a top level, it showed that people in the state are ready for a policy change that largely aligns with proposals moving through the legislature this session.
It found, for example, that 61 percent of New York adults support recreational marijuana legalization. But it also offered unique insights into the specifics of what residents hope to see out of a legal cannabis market.
Social justice, tax money, and other issues
Racial justice advocates objected to the bill’s allocation of only 15% of cannabis business licenses to minority applicants. They also opposed Scutari’s plan for the cannabis tax revenue, which would fund local police departments instead of supporting low-income neighborhoods disproportionately targeted and harmed by the War on Drugs.
Although a majority of New Jerseyans support cannabis legalization, it’s not industry grown only cannabis we want. We are voting for personal choice and freedom and a few cannabis plants to love at home like they do in other legalized states.
Nine out of the 11 legalized states allow home grow of cannabis by adults and Montana, Arizona and South Dakota, all have it in their adult-use ballots this year. The Garden State should not be left out.
The New Jersey Legislature last year finally jump-started its medicinal cannabis program after nearly a decade of over-regulation-induced dysfunction. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act (CUMCA) Jake’s Law was passed in July, promising patients expanded access to cannabis, with a variety of cannabis products and at a more reasonable, affordable price. But so far only one new alternative treatment center has opened and prices are still the highest in the country.
Assistant Health Commissioner Jeff Brown, who oversees New Jersey’s medicinal cannabis program, has told the state’s six nonprofit marijuana treatment centers that if they apply to become for-profit entities, they must first present the Health Department with a plan for how they will lower costs for patients.
Ken Wolski, the executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana of New Jersey, said Wednesday that it’s vitally important to lower medical marijuana prices because many patients are limited financially.
Under the measure, adults would be allowed to cultivate up to 10 plants in their homes for a $50 annual fee and all grows in the state would be capped at 150,000 square feet – an attempt to keep large, corporate, growers from monopolizing the industry. Micro-grow permits – up to 150 plants – would cost $250 annually, compared to $10,000 for large-scale grows, along with a $100,000 application fee.
Ken Wolski runs the Coalition for Medical Marijuana of NJ.
“Our organization supports Sweeney’s effort to reintroduce marijuana legalization in the legislature in November of 2019 during the lame duck,” Mr Wolski told InsiderNJ. “We realize this legislation won’t have home cultivation in in but we support it nevertheless because of all the good legalization would do like a decrease in mass incarceration.”
Home cultivation would endow the citizens with too much liberty so we can’t have that now can we?