Bill Text: NJ A4823 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Requires DOH to commission disparity study and to award medical marijuana alternative treatment center permits consistent with disparity study findings.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 3-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-12-17 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee [A4823 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-A4823-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 4823

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED DECEMBER 17, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  HERB CONAWAY, JR.

District 7 (Burlington)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires DOH to commission disparity study and to award medical marijuana alternative treatment center permits consistent with disparity study findings.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning medical marijuana and supplementing Title 24 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.   The Commissioner of Health shall commission a disparity study to evaluate the disparate effects of State and federal criminal drug laws on communities and populations within the State. The study shall focus on, but shall not be limited to, criminal laws and prosecutions related to marijuana, and shall examine, at a minimum, any disparate impact experienced by racial and ethnic minorities. The study may examine disparate rates of arrests, indictments, and incarcerations for drug offenses, unemployment, underemployment, poverty, and educational attainment, as well as any other relevant and appropriate metrics.  The disparity study shall identify the communities in the State that have been most disparately affected by State and federal criminal drug laws, and shall report its findings and conclusions to the commissioner and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), to the Legislature.

     b.    The commissioner shall require that at least 25 percent of new alternative treatment center permits issued by the Department of Health on or after the date the disparity study issues its report are awarded in communities identified by the study as disparately affected by State and federal criminal drug laws; these permits shall be awarded to qualified applicants who are members of the disparately-affected community and who constitute a disparately-affected population within that community.  In determining whether an applicant meets the criteria for issuance of a permit under this subsection, the department shall consider whether the applicant has been certified as a member of the relevant population pursuant to any State law, regulation, or administrative authority.

     c.     Any alternative treatment center permit award made on or after the date the disparity study report is issued shall be subject to review by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court, which shall have the authority to invalidate any permit award that is inconsistent with the requirements of subsection b. of this section.

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires the Commissioner of Health to commission a disparity study to evaluate the disparate effects of State and federal criminal drug laws on communities and populations within the State for the purpose of identifying the communities that have been most disparately affected by State and federal criminal drug laws.  The study will review disparate effects associated with all drug laws but will focus on criminal laws and prosecutions related to marijuana, and will examine, at a minimum, any disparate impact experienced by racial and ethnic minorities. The metrics examined by the study will include, but will not be limited to, disparate rates of arrests, indictments, and incarcerations for drug offenses, unemployment, underemployment, poverty, and educational attainment.  The disparity study's findings and conclusions will be reported to the commissioner and to the Legislature.

     The bill requires the commissioner to ensure that at least 25 percent of new medical marijuana alternative treatment center permits issued on or after the date the disparity study report is issued are awarded in communities identified in the report as disparately affected by State and federal criminal drug laws; the permits are to be awarded to qualified applicants who are members of the community and who constitute a disparately-affected population within that community. In issuing permits to disparately-affected communities, the Department of Health is to consider whether the applicant has been certified as a member of the relevant population pursuant to any State law, regulation, or administrative authority.

     Any alternative treatment center permit award made on or after the date the disparity study report is issued will be subject to review by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court, which will have the authority to invalidate any permit award that is inconsistent with the requirements of the bill.

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