Governor Phil Murphy today announced major reforms to New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program.
Reforms include the addition of medical conditions, lowered patient and caregiver fees, allowing dispensaries to add satellite locations, and proposed changes that would increase the monthly product limit for patients, and allow an unlimited supply for those receiving hospice care.
Five new categories of medical conditions (anxiety, migraines, Tourette’s syndrome, chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders, and chronic visceral pain) will be eligible for marijuana prescription.
In a report submitted by New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal, three categories of recommendations were made: those that are effective today, regulatory changes that will go through the rulemaking process, and proposals that require legislation. In addition, there are recommendations for important future initiatives to allow home delivery, develop a provider education curriculum, and expedite the permitting process.
Currently, 18,574 patients, 536 physicians, and 869 caregivers participate in the program – a far smaller number than comparably populated states. The Commissioner will also be able to add additional conditions at his discretion.
Other immediate changes include lowering the biennial patient registration fee from $200 to $100 and adding veterans and seniors–65 and older–to the list of those who qualify for the $20 discounted registration fee. Those on government assistance, including federal disability, already receive the reduced fee.
Any physician who meets the requirements of the medical marijuana program will be able to prescribe marijuana without appearing on a public registry. The Department’s website will continue to be available for physicians who would like to publicize their availability and willingness to offer medical marijuana as a treatment option for patients, but the public physician registry will no longer be a requirement.