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Number of medical cannabis patients in New Jersey soars 150% since January 2018

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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Since Gov. Phil Murphy took office early last year, New Jersey’s medical cannabis program has swelled by 150 percent. After Murphy assumed his role, cannabis retail sales in “The Garden State” soared.

Between January of last year and the present day, 25,000 new patients enrolled in New Jersey’s medical cannabis program. Now, approximately 42,500 patients are enrolled, according to the Democratic governor.

Medical cannabis in New Jersey has been legalized since 2010

So far, 10 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational weed. New Jersey’s medical cannabis market rolled out slowly under Murphy’s predecessor, Chris Christie.

The recent increase in patient count has been attributed to Murphy, who recently announced an agreement to legalize recreational cannabis alongside a number of Democratic legislative leaders.

Opioid use disorder patients eligible for medical cannabis in New Jersey

In March of 2018, five new conditions were added to New Jersey’s list of illnesses for enrollment in the state’s medical cannabis program. Examples of some illnesses that Murphy added to the list include Tourette syndrome, chronic pain, migraines, anxiety and opioid use disorder.

Opioid use disorder qualifies as a standalone debilitating medical condition for cannabis in New Jersey. The patient must be undergoing medication-assisted therapy (MAT) in order to be considered for the program, however.

Opioid users who endure painful withdrawal symptoms and/or chronic pain can enroll via the online registry, which was updated not so long ago to ensure compatibility with major brand name devices.

How much cannabis in New Jersey can I buy in one month?

At the current time, there is a two-ounce limit on pot purchases according to State law under the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA). The two-ounce limit could soon be increased to four ounces, thanks to recommendations from the Department of Health in response to the Governor’s Executive Order No. 6.

Either the Legislature or the Governor must approve the change for it to go into effect.

Applying for medical cannabis in New Jersey

In order to be accepted for enrolment in the New Jersey Medicinal Marijuana Program, patients are required to consult an approved physician. Cannabis consumers cannot grow their own plants at home and must first obtain a health practitioner’s authorization to register with the state’s medical cannabis program.

Before a prescription for pharmaceutical-grade cannabis can be written by the medical professional, the patient must get a diagnosis for one of the approved debilitating conditions. Senior citizens and military veterans can enroll for a reduced fee of $20.

Find out more about New Jersey’s medical cannabis program by visiting: https://www.nj.gov/health/medicalmarijuana.

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Number of medical cannabis patients in New Jersey soars 150% since January 2018