TRENTON, NJ – In an effort to expand access to medicinal cannabis, Senator Troy Singleton introduced two proposals on Thursday that would allow patients to grow medical cannabis at home as well as subsidize the cost of products bought in dispensaries.
“We know that medical cannabis has the potential to treat a vast range of health conditions, especially those often addressed with opioid prescriptions. Unfortunately, because the product has to be paid for entirely out of pocket it is rarely a feasible long term option for low income patients,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington), who represents Bordentown in the Legislature. “By authorizing home grow and subsidizing product sold at medical dispensaries, similar to how we cover other medications, we can ensure that cannabis is accessible to all potential medical users, regardless of income.”
The first bill would allow people to grow cannabis at home, but only for medical purposes. Patients, or their caregivers, would need to register with the Cannabis Regulatory Commission as a home cultivator and indicate who would be the home cultivator, as only one person per household can have this designation. A home cultivator would be allowed to grow and possess up to four mature cannabis plants and up to four immature plants.
The second bill would require the Cannabis Regulatory Commission to establish a program to subsidize up to 20 percent of the cost of medical cannabis and other products for registered patients who are currently enrolled in the State Medicaid program or the NJ FamilyCare program. The Department of Human Services would coordinate with medical cannabis dispensaries to develop an enrollment system where they would be able to quickly verify whether or not a patient is enrolled in either program. The medical dispensaries would have to notify patients or their caregivers of this subsidy.
Medical marijuana is a hot topic in the Bordentown area, as the Township's Planning Board in September approved a medical marijuana dispensary to be built on Route 130. Curaleaf, a Massachusetts-based company that serves more than 350,000 registered patients in twenty-three states around the country, got preliminary and final site plan approval on its proposal to open a 9,315 square foot retail location at what is the current site of Stony Brook Sew and Vacuums.