On February 27, 2018, the Division of Consumer Affairs stated that it would withdraw its appeal of the Appellate Division’s decision in Kadonsky v. Lee, 452 N.J. Super. 198 (App. Div. 2017) and “embark on a process to revisit whether the currently accepted uses for medical marijuana warrant any change in its classification.” In Kadonsky, the Appellate Division reversed the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs’ denial of a request to reclassify marijuana, holding that the Director has authority under New Jersey’s Controlled Dangerous Substances Act (CDSA) to reclassify marijuana without a change to existing federal law.

Schedule I controlled substances under the CDSA must have “no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” In enacting the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA), however, the Legislature declared that “[m]odern medical research has discovered a beneficial use for marijuana in treating or alleviating the pain or other symptoms associated with certain debilitating medical conditions.”

In remanding the matter to the Director to consider reclassification, the Kadonsky Court opined that “[w]hile there may have been ‘no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States’ for marijuana when the CDSA became effective, any argument suggesting that premise is still valid in the post-CUMMA era strains credulity beyond acceptable boundaries.”