New Jersey: Governor Moves Forward With Medical Cannabis Access Reforms

Newark, NJ: Governor Phil Murphy announced a package of reforms this week to expand patients’ access to medical cannabis products.

Among the reforms taking immediate effect: Patients diagnosed with the following conditions – anxiety, migraine, Tourette’s syndrome, and chronic and/or visceral pain – are now eligible for cannabis therapy. Physicians will no longer be mandated to participate in a public registry in order to provide marijuana recommendations. Caregivers will be able to provide for more than one patient at a time. Patients biennial fees will be reduced by half.

“Beginning today, New Jersey will finally have a medicinal marijuana program that is compassionate, progressive, and patient friendly,” Gov. Murphy said in a statement.

Other forthcoming changes include: raising patients’ monthly possession limits from two ounces to four ounces, allowing patients to obtain edible formulations of cannabis, and eliminating the mandate that dispensary facilities must operate as non-profit entities.

In January, Gov. Murphy signed an executive order calling on the Department of Health to review the state’s eight-year cannabis program – which currently enrolls fewer than 16,000 patients and licenses only five dispensing providers – and to recommend ways to increase participation among patients and physicians.

“We are changing the restrictive culture of our medical marijuana program to make it more patient-friendly,” the Governor said. “Some of these changes will take time, but we are committed to getting it done for all New Jersey residents who can be helped by access to medical marijuana.”

For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.