New Jersey lawmakers have approved a medical marijuana bill that allows doctors to recommend marijuana as a treatment for chronic pain.
The measure, which will take effect on Tuesday, gives doctors the ability to prescribe marijuana for chronic, debilitating conditions including cancer and HIV.
In the first time, the New Jersey Medical Society endorsed medical marijuana for cancer.
In New Jersey, doctors have been able to recommend cannabis for decades without a patient’s consent.
This marks the first instance of a state legislator authorizing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana.
The bill is likely to face a challenge in the state Senate, which is currently in session.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, has said he supports medical marijuana, and the governor has said the law is necessary to combat the opioid epidemic.
The bill, passed by the state Assembly on Thursday, now heads to Christie’s desk for his signature.
The Senate passed the bill on Wednesday by a vote of 19-0.
The House approved it by a similar vote.
In New Jersey this year, more than 100,000 people died of cancer, and nearly 40,000 died from HIV, according to the state Department of Health.
The legislation does not require patients to be enrolled in a state-run healthcare program, or be able to access any state-approved medication, including prescription opioids, to get medical marijuana prescriptions.