On June 18, 2018, the NJ Department of Health published for comment its anticipated amendments to the administrative rules for NJ’s medical marijuana program. Interested parties will have 60 days to submit comments on the proposed rules. Comments can be submitted electronically at: http://www.nj.gov/health/legal/ecomments.shtml,
According to a DOH press release, the new rules would make the following changes:
- Reducing the registration fee for qualifying patients and their caregivers from $200 to $100
- Adding seniors and military veterans to those eligible for the reduced registration fee of $20
- Authorizing qualifying patients to designate up to two primary caregivers instead of just one
- Reflecting the addition of six “debilitating medical conditions:” PTSD, by statutory enactment; and five new conditions (anxiety, chronic pain of visceral origin, chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders, migraines, and Tourette syndrome), by the State Health Commissioner’s March 22, 2018, petition decision.
- Streamlining the process to petition for the addition of “debilitating medical conditions” by removing the requirement that petitions first be referred to the Medicinal Marijuana Review Panel
- Emphasizing the advisory role of the Medicinal Marijuana Review Panel to include the provision of guidance and recommendations to the State Health Commissioner regarding the medicinal use of marijuana
- Allowing physicians to opt out of inclusion on a public list of participating physicians
- Removing the requirement of psychiatric evaluation as a condition of physician certification of minors as qualifying patients
- Creating an endorsement system for cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensing marijuana for medicinal purposes, which would increase the available supply of, and patient access to, usable marijuana
- Authorizing manufacturing and dispensing of medicinal marijuana in non-topical forms
- Repealing the three-strain limit on authorized cultivation and dispensary activity
- Elevating the Medicinal Marijuana Program to division status within the Department of Health
A copy of the proposed rules is available at http://www.nj.gov/health/legal/documents/notice-of-rule-proposal/8_64.pdf
Pashman Stein Walder Hayden is carefully monitoring developments in New Jersey and federally with respect to marijuana legislation and will be available to help its clients navigate the sure-to-be complex regulatory framework of this potential business frontier.