New Jersians will not immediately be able to grow their own cannabis, neither for medical nor personal use purposes, the Asbury Park Press reports. During a webinar with cannabis industry professionals, state Sen. Nick Scutari (D), the main proponent of cannabis legalization in the state Senate and the new chamber president, said he does “not see” home cultivation “happening right now.”
“I’m not against marijuana being grown at home for medical purposes and maybe even just recreational purposes. But we’ve got to let this industry … it’s not even off the ground yet.” — Scutari during his remarks via the Press
Currently, the price of medical cannabis in New Jersey runs about $412 to $420 per ounce, according to Curaleaf prices outlined by the Press.
Jo Anne Zito, a board member for the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey, said allowing patients to grow their own medicine would be “a tremendous help.”
“It doesn’t seem like the sky has fallen in these other places,” she told the Press. “Yeah, some of it may get to the illicit market but I don’t think it’s anything that’s hurting revenue or setting back legal sales.”
Of the 19 states that have legalized cannabis, New Jersey is the only one that does not allow medical patients to grow their own, the report says. Cultivating even one cannabis plant in the state is still punishable by up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine, despite the state’s legalization law.
Erik Altieri, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said home cultivation is not only “an issue of personal freedom but it serves as an important check on the commercial marijuana industry.”
“Allowing consumers the ability to grow their own marijuana helps to ensure the industry keeps its products of high quality and fairly priced,” he said in the report.
There are currently three home-grow proposals in the New Jersey Legislature — one limits personal-use grows to six plants while allowing patients to grow 10 plants; another caps grows at six plants regardless of whether the plants are grown for personal or medical use. A third would allow patients to cultivate up to eight plants.
All of those bills were first introduced last session, but none were voted on.
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