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Gov. Chris Christie Administration To Extend Start Of Medical Marijuana Program


Nug of the Month: Aug 2008
The Christie Administration will get an extension through January 2011 to roll out New Jersey's medical marijuana program, according to the senator who sponsored the law.

Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) also said he is considering another request by Health and Senior Services Commissioner Poonam Alaigh to change the law to allow one centralized marijuana growing operation that would supply the six alternative treatment centers or dispensaries that would sell the product.

"They are looking at one secure location where the product is grown so you know what you are producing,'' Scutari said.

He called it an "interesting thought,'' but one that would require an amendment to the law, which calls for a minimum of six nonprofit entities to produce and sell the drug.

"I am not saying I am going to do it, but there are other ways to be successful,'' Scutari said.

The law former Gov. Jon Corzine enacted anticipated the program would begin October, which includes a three-month period of publicizing and possibility amending the program's rules.

The Christie administration had sought up to a year's delay. Scutari said 90 days "strikes a reasonable balance'' between the department's need to do more research and the public's desire to have the program working. Scutari said the department appears to have been diligently researching how best to grow, process and sell medical marijuana.

"They seem genuine in their want to do this,'' Scutari said.

Scutari said he would introduce the bill granting the extension Monday. He hopes it can bypass the committee hearing process and be voted by each house in the interests of not delaying the matter further.

The commissioner "appreciates the opportunity to continue its work to ensure that the safest and most effective program is put in place for those patients who qualify," Alaigh's spokeswoman Donna Leusner said.

She declined to discuss any particulars about the program the state is developing.

"The Department is still looking at many complex issues that will allow for design of the safest and most effective program for those patients who qualify," she said.

NewsHawk: Ganjarden: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: NJ.com
Author: Susan K. Livio
Contact: NJ.com
Copyright: 2010 New Jersey On-Line LLC.
Website: Gov. Chris Christie administration to extend start of medical marijuana program through next year

* Thanks to MedicalNeed for submitting this article
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