State Senate OK’s bill making it much easier to get medical marijuana in N.J.

Susan K. Livio | May 30, 2019 | NJ Advance Media |

 

A law that would vastly expand New Jersey’s medicinal marijuana program passed the state Senate on Thursday, clearing one of the last hurdles before it reaches Gov. Phil Murphy.

The Senate voted 33-4 to pass the bill at the Statehouse in Trenton. The same measure passed the state Assembly last week, but that body must take a new vote to concur with a last-minute amendment the Senate approved allowing cannabis industry employees to unionize. The vote is expected June 10.

“This will be a fast-tracked expansion of medical marijuana statewide,” said state Sen. Nicholas Scutari D-Union, one of the bill’s sponsors. “It’s a greater opportunity for different patients to utilize medical cannabis, and not just as a last resort but for a first resort for a variety of conditions. There will be expanded opportunities for (dispensaries) to be located closer to where people live.”

The long-awaited legislation (A10) would end the requirement that New Jersey patients see a doctor as many as four times a year to verify they are still sick enough to participate, and reduce visits to once a year. The requirement for frequent doctor visits has particularly exasperated people with incurable or terminal illnesses.

 

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