New Jersey legislators are currently in the process of finalizing the details of the state’s marijuana decriminalization and legalization policies. While the S3550 bill has lessened the penalties for individuals found carrying less than six ounces of marijuana, it still forbids any person from having the intent to distribute or the distribution and possession of a controlled and dangerous substance. The bill does not touch on marijuana home-cultivation, which remains criminalized.
This is despite poll data from a Rutgers University 2018 poll, showing that 60% of voters in the state disagreed with a prohibition that forbade residents from cultivating their own marijuana at home.
There are still many gaps in the bill, despite the work that’s been poured into the legislative sessions. Ryan Magee, a marijuana attorney at Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti, ascribes this to how much support and time is available to sufficiently address the topic. Magee goes further to state that if at-home growing is ignored this time around, reform may happen in the future.
More than a decade ago, legislators had discussed home cultivation of marijuana while drafting the state’s medical cannabis program. While it wasn’t included in the Compassionate Use for Medical Marijuana Act’s final draft, which was signed by Gov. Jon Corzine, there once had been a home cultivation provision that allowed registered patients to cultivate up to six plants at home without incurring any penalty.
However, opponents had compared New Jersey’s proposed initiative with California’s proposition 215, which allowed medical patients to cultivate marijuana at home. At the time, California was the first state to implement a state-regulated medical cannabis program, a move that garnered widespread criticism.
To avoid this, the sponsors of the bill shifted their decision-making power to the state’s health department. This decision led to the department limiting the amount of usable cannabis a patient could have to an ounce per month. Soon after this, the assembly health committee removed the provision allowing home cultivation from the bill completely.
This came soon after state Sen. Nicholas Scutari supported the pardon of John Jay Wilson, who was a multiple sclerosis patient, to grow his own marijuana.
In addition to Washington, DC, 17 states in the U.S. currently permit at-home marijuana cultivation for individuals aged 21 and above. However, some states have imposed more limitations on which residents can cultivate at home.
For instance, in Arizona and Nevada, residents who are of age are allowed to cultivate marijuana recreationally only if they live no less than 25 miles away from a dispensary. In Missouri, the law dictates that only medical cannabis patients are allowed to cultivate at home, and these cannabis patients must pay a $100 fee.
States such as Massachusetts and Alaska have more progressive measures. Massachusetts allows growing of up to 12 plants if there are two residents of age in the household while Alaska allows any individual who is 21 years and older to grow up to six marijuana plants.
Meanwhile, Canada legalized cannabis several years ago, and its market is reaching maturation. This phase is marked by specialization, and Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) (OTC: PRXTF) has staked claim to the number-one spot in the cannabis extracts segment, a niche worth nearly $3 billion annually in Canada.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) (OTC: PRXTF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/PULL
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