That puts police groups and marijuana businesses on the same side of the issue in a Baptist-bootlegger compromise to maintain the last remaining vestiges of prohibition. And that’s a mess.
As we unwind the cannabis prohibition at the state and federal level, issues like these need to be dealt with. And this one seems to be rather simple. How is the New Jersey Legislature going to deny homegrown cannabis in the Garden State? Just make it happen.
Cannabis reform groups support Gopal’s efforts, including NORML and the Marijuana Policy Project. Both groups advocate for consistent consumer access. For homebound patients who need medical marijuana and for adults who don’t live near a retail dispensary, residents of New Jersey need the ability to grow at home. Yet despite this attention from national groups, the leaders of the New Jersey Legislature just don’t seem motivated to fix this problem.
The only New Jersey legislator who seems to be concerned about this issue is state Sen. Vin Gopal, D-Monmouth County. He has introduced a bill to fix this home-grow issue, but so far it hasn’t received enough co-sponsors for state Senate leadership to take it seriously, according to a recent interview.
There is no other industry where there is an appropriate parallel. New Jersey residents can grow their own tobacco, brew their own beer and bottle their own wine at home. But marijuana? Forget about it. The Star-Ledger’s editorial board recently referred to this legal disparity as “off-the-charts idiotic.”
CRC Executive Director Jeff Brown outlined the prioritization process regulators will use to determine which applications are handled first.
Nearly 120,000 patients are registered in the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program.
The announcement of an application date comes less than a month after the CRC issued licenses to 14 medical marijuana cultivators, including four vertically integrated permits. These allow cultivation, manufacturing and sale of medical marijuana.
Conditional applicants are expected to eventually convert to a standard, annual license. Microbusiness license holders can but are not required to convert to an annual license.
Applications for marijuana distributors, wholesalers, delivery companies or medical marijuana dispensaries looking to convert to recreational sales will not be accepted until a later date.