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On January 18, 2010, Gov.

Jon Corzine (D) signed the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical
Marijuana Act into law on his last day in office. The Assembly voted 48-14 (77% of the
chamber), and the Senate 25-13 (66%), to pass S. 119, which removed criminal penalties for
registered qualified patients possessing marijuana for medical purposes.

Patients with registry identification cards that possess up to two ounces of marijuana dispensed
by an alternative treatment center are protected from arrest, prosecution, and other statewide
criminal penalties. The law allows a patient to have a primary caregiver possess medical
marijuana on his or her behalf and includes an organized system of at least six state-licensed
alternative treatment centers. It does not include home cultivation.

To qualify, the patients doctor must certify that he or she authorizes the patient to apply for
registration for the medical use of marijuana. The patient must also have one of the listed
debilitating medical conditions: cancer and HIV/AIDS (only if the condition or its treatment
results in severe or chronic pain, severe nausea or vomiting, cachexia, or wasting syndrome);
terminal cancer; terminal illness where the physician has determined a prognosis of less than 12
months of life; multiple sclerosis; muscular dystrophy; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS);
inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohns disease; and, if they are resistant to conventional
medical therapy, glaucoma, seizure disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and intractable
skeletal muscular spasticity. New Jerseys program does not include a general category for
severe, chronic, or debilitating pain. The health department can add additional conditions.

After Gov. Corzines signing of the bill, newly-elected Gov. Chris Christie (R) immediately
began delaying implementation and asked the legislature to pass a bill to postpone the laws
effective date by three months. New Jerseys medical marijuana law went into effect on October
1, 2010, but patients still lacked protections because ID cards were not being issued, and the bill
lacked an affirmative defense for unregistered patients. Christies Department of Health and
Senior Services (DHSS) now the Department of Health drafted rules that overstepped
DHSSs authority and did not track the already strict legislation. The legislature pushed back by
passing ACR 151, a resolution to repeal the draft rules. In early 2011, DHSS proposed new draft
rules and approved six nonprofit alternative treatment centers (ATCs), two in each part of the
state. Meanwhile, the slow implementation negatively impacted New Jersey patients. For
example, multiple sclerosis patient John Ray Wilson was convicted and sentenced to five years
in prison for growing 17 marijuana plants for his personal medical use in January 2011.

On June 15, 2011, after U.S. attorneys had written letters to legislators in other states, reiterating
that marijuana is Schedule I and indicating they may target dispensaries, Gov. Christie
temporarily halted implementation of the medical marijuana program. He reversed himself on
July 19, 2011, however, and began moving forward with implementation as expeditiously as
possible because he recognized medical marijuana as compassionate pain relief. The first ATC
finally opened in December 2012, although it was forced to close for several months in 2013,
leaving patients without legal access.

As of September 2017, five ATCs are open, and the sixth was issued a permit to begin
cultivating medical marijuana in July 2017. Some actions have been taken to expand the list of
qualifying conditions; a panel of health professionals was appointed in March 2016 to help
determine whether new conditions should be added. After accepting petitions and public
comment, the panel issued initial recommendations that chronic pain, migraine, anxiety and
Tourettes syndrome be added as qualifying conditions. A second public comment period ended
September 25, 2017, after which the board will make final recommendations to the health
department. The legislature also passed A457, which added PTSD as a qualifying condition, and
Gov. Christie signed it in September 2016, although he added a requirement that conventional
therapies have proven ineffective for the patient.

In November 2017, voters elected a new governor Phil Murphy who supports further
expanding the states medical marijuana law.

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