During Gov. Phil Murphy’s first week in office, he ordered a review of New Jersey’s floundering medical marijuana program, which had been under the thumb of cannabis-bashing, former governor Chris Christie.
In fact, when Murphy announced his 60-day review, he confirmed the program creates unnecessary hurdles for patients. And if you’re a patient, an activist or simply paying attention, you agree wholeheartedly.
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“It was a program designed to keep people out of it. It’s a program that’s not meeting the needs of the patients,” said CEO of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey, Ken Wolski.
So, what may the new law hold for patients in the Garden State? Greater access is at the top of the list. In other medical cannabis states, conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, arthritis and chronic pain are accepted, and this could be the case for Jersey sooner than later. An increase in the number of accepted ailments will almost certainly mean an increase from the 15,000 patients statewide that Jersey currently hosts.
More dispensaries are also on the list. New Jersey is home to around nine million people. There are currently five dispensaries statewide. If more people are going to have access to the herb, more locations are a must. Plus, as the industry becomes viable, dispensaries will be key pieces to the puzzle.
As it stands now, New Jerseyans who qualify for medical cannabis can use up to two ounces of medical marijuana per month. While that may be plenty for some, other patients require more to quell their symptoms and live a normal life. Phil Murphy has talked about expanding limits and has even mentioned the possibility of home delivery to patients.
The stigmafied doctors’ list could be out the window and more edible products may be in. Costs may be going down and a healthy timeline to pot prosperity may be in the works. We must wait for it all to play out, but these are optimistic times for patients in New Jersey.