Jersey Farmers See Cash Crop in Newly-Legalized Medical Marijuana

Last month, in the waning days of the Corzine Administration, New Jersey passed a "Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act," by which the state will "protect from arrest... those patients who use marijuana to alleviate suffering from debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians, primary caregivers, and those who are authorized to produce marijuana for medical purposes."

Patients and doctors know what to do, but the new law prompts a question: Where will the suppliers come from? The Voice's marijuana blog Toke of the Town looks into it, and finds local farmers very willing to partake.

"We would all like to grow it," says a local nurseryman, "because we think it would be a good cash crop -- literally."

In Michigan, patients are authorized to grow their own or have someone do it for them; pot-growing "caregivers" may not make a profit, though they can be "compensated for costs." ("Now Municipalities are trying to add Land Use Restriction," adds a drug use board commenter. "Like that doesn't add to the cost?")

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Jersey, however, allows the "entities" who apply for "permits to operate as alternative treatment centers" and cultivate weed, to be either nonprofit or for-profit. So there's gold in them thar buds.

But Ed Wengryn of the Farm Bureau tells Toke of the Town that drug companies, most of whom have their own research farms, are "in a better position to go through the hoops" on the licensing system than local farmers.


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