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New Jersey Lawmakers File Bills To Allow Marijuana Home Grow, Interstate Commerce, Banking Protections, Psilocybin Legalization And More

New Jersey lawmakers are gearing up for a busy year in the drug policy reform space, filing over a dozen bills touching on issues ranging from marijuana interstate commerce, home grow, banking and employment protections to psychedelics legalization and kratom regulations.

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As the state’s adult-use cannabis market continues to evolve since the implementation of legalization last April, legislators from both sides of the aisle are bringing forward a slew of proposals to build on the reform, and also expand into different drug policy areas.

Home cultivation is one area advocates will be closely following, as New Jersey stands out among adult-use states in its disallowance of having either patients or consumers grow their own plants for personal use. Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has said he’s “very open-minded” to the issue, but he feels the market must further mature before its enacted.

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Here’s a rundown of some key cannabis, psilocybin and kratom bills that New Jersey lawmakers filed for 2024: 

  • S1985: Legalizes growing or possessing up to six marijuana plants for personal recreational use, and up to 10 plants for personal medical use, by persons aged 21 or older.

  • A414: Legalizes possession of six or fewer marijuana plants.

  • S1393/A846: Authorizes home cultivation of medical cannabis.

  • S2286: Permits governor to authorize interstate commercial cannabis activity in certain circumstances.

  • Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D) is sponsoring the interstate proposal again this year after filing an earlier version that did not move beyond introduction in 2022.

  • A901: Protects financial institutions and insurers doing business with cannabis industry from being penalized by state regulators.

  • An earlier version of the legislation advanced out of an Assembly committee in December 2022, but it was not ultimately enacted.

  • S1126: Establishes state bank for handling of marijuana-related funds.

  • S1955/A453: Creates certain protections for insurers and insurance producers

  • A1609: Establishes protection from adverse employment action for authorized medical cannabis patients.

  • A2719: Provides employer and employee protections pursuant to the use of legalized cannabis items.

  • The worker-focused legislation would build on existing guidance adopted by the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) that clarifies employers generally cannot penalize workers based solely on positive drug tests for cannabis metabolites.

  • S677: Permits employers to prohibit use of cannabis by certain employees.

  • A2798: Permits law enforcement agencies to prohibit recreational use of cannabis items by law enforcement officers.

  • This proposal would resolve an ongoing dispute in the state under which the attorney general has said the legalization law protects police from being fired for off-duty cannabis use, which has become the subject of litigation.

  • S1943: Requires workers’ compensation, personal injury protection and health insurance coverage for the medical use of cannabis under certain circumstances

  • A898: Establishes program to subsidize purchase price of medical cannabis for registered qualifying patients enrolled in Medicaid or NJ FamilyCare programs.

  • S1944: Allows costs of medical cannabis to be reimbursed by Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund, PAAD, Senior Gold and VCCO.

  • ACR76: Proposes constitutional amendment to dedicate tax revenue from legal sale of recreational marijuana for mental health, addiction recovery and drug rehabilitation services.

  • A1105: Exempts from sales and use tax sales of medical marijuana.

  • A2879: Establishes THC potency limits for cannabis products.

  • S2283: “Psilocybin Behavioral Health Access and Services Act”; authorizes production and use of psilocybin to promote health and wellness; decriminalizes, and expunges past offenses involving, psilocybin production, possession, use and distribution.

  • The Senate president is again sponsoring this legislation after an earlier version stalled out. It would also allow for the cultivation of the psychedelic for personal use, unlike the state’s current law on cannabis.

  • A1188: Creates “New Jersey Kratom Protection Act.”

Meanwhile, last month the governor and state attorney general announced the recipients of $5.2 million in hospital-based violence-intervention grants funded with revenue from state-legal marijuana.

Also last month, New Jersey opened applications for the second phase of a marijuana social equity funding program, which will make $150,000 grants to awardees and offer eight weeks of technical assistance.

The state’s marijuana market has continued to evolve in other ways since shops opened. For example, state cannabis regulators started accepting public comment in October on proposed rules to expand the types of edible cannabis products that could be sold at licensed retailers, including beverages, chocolates, baked goods and jams.

The CRC has also looked into adopting new rules that would create a permit to allow “clinically focused” cannabis dispensaries to enter into partnerships with research institutions to carry out cannabis studies using products that they grow or sell to patients.


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