medical homegrow

State Senators Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth) and Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) have signed on as sponsors to Senator Troy Singleton’s (D-Burlington) medical homegrow cannabis bill.

Gopal is a primary sponsor of the bill with Singleton and O’Scanlon is a co-sponsor. Gopal and O’Scanlon have both voiced support for medical homegrow before in Heady NJ.

It is a good sign the medical homegrow bill has two new supporters. The more support it has, the more likely it is to get a hearing and pass the committee. If there’s a hearing, the medical homegrow has a higher likelihood of passage in the full chamber. It is usually the New Jersey legislature’s practice to have secured the votes for a bill before holding a hearing.

The medical homegrow bill is S. 3420, “Authorizes home cultivation of medical cannabis.” No text was initially available when Singleton first announced he was introducing the bill.

Medical Homegrow Details

Patients would be able to grow four mature plants and four immature plants. They would have to register with the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) and re-qualify every two years. They would only be allowed to grow at home.

Only one patient or caregiver per household or institutional caregiver would be allowed to grow.

Institutional growers need to re-register every year since they are allowed to grow for multiple patients in a facility. Designated and institutional growers need to go through a criminal history background check and pay for it.  However, it could be a problem if they were convicted of a crime. But it depends on several factors.

If a household wishes to change who will be the official grower in the house, they need to provide ten days’ notice to the CRC.

There will be a civil penalty of $1,000 for selling homegrow illegally. They will also not be allowed to grow anymore. Plus, they will be subject to local criminal penalties, which are much worse for growing than mere possession.

The bill concludes saying they want to help patients “who may find the medical cannabis that is available through a medical cannabis dispensary unaffordable, or who may otherwise benefit from the convenience of home cultivation or the ability to readily access medical cannabis in the strain and form appropriate to the patient’s individual treatment needs.”

Of the 36 states that have approved a medical cannabis program, 17, or nearly half, allow medical homegrow and include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

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