Gov. Christie signs $3.9 billion medical marijuana bill into law


Chris Christie signed a $3 billion medical cannabis bill into statute Friday, adding the state to a growing list of states where the drug can be grown.

The bill, which takes effect after two years, sets aside $300 million to establish a pilot program that will allow patients with serious medical conditions, such as glaucoma, cancer and multiple sclerosis, to grow their own medical marijuana in their homes.

The state already has set up pilot programs for patients with HIV and multiple chronic pain.

The law is the latest in a string of efforts by Christie and other Republican governors to get around the state’s strict cannabis laws.

Last year, Christie and lawmakers signed a bill that legalized the use of cannabidiol (CBD), the active ingredient in marijuana, for treating pain and nausea, but did not provide for the cultivation of medical marijuana.

A year earlier, Christie signed the first-ever recreational cannabis tax measure, which would have allowed people to grow up to six marijuana plants at home for personal use.

But Christie said the new law will allow for the production and distribution of medical cannabis, something he has said is a “once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

The governor said he and his colleagues are working with the U.S. Justice Department to make sure there is a rigorous process for growing and processing the marijuana.

The new law includes strict requirements for the use and distribution, including a requirement that growers and processors have licenses from the state and are licensed in the United States.

The bill also mandates the state establish a medical cannabis cultivation facility in each county.

“We have to ensure that the product we’re going to be producing and distributing is safe, and it has to be safe and legal,” Christie said Friday.

“That is what we’re doing.”

In addition to expanding the use or sale of medical and recreational cannabis, the bill also allows for the growing of hemp, which can be used to make rope and rope accessories.

The legislation requires a 10-year license to grow hemp and a 5-year, $5 million license to cultivate hemp.

A similar law was approved in 2016 in Colorado and New Mexico, and the White House said in February that President Donald Trump supports legalizing hemp.

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