Governor Phil Murphy today announced a massive expansion of New Jersey’s medical marijuana program, also known as the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, N.J.S.A. 24:6I-1 et seq. Effective immediately, doctors can now prescribe medical marijuana to patients suffering from five additional categories of debilitating conditions, namely anxiety, migraines, Tourette’s syndrome, chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders and chronic visceral pain.
Further, in an effort to increase accessibility and affordability, the biennial registration fee for patients will be slashed from $200 to $100 with a special rate of $20 available for veterans, seniors and indigent patients receiving government assistance. Other notable changes to the program include the ability for the state’s five – soon to be six – alternative treatment centers (ATCs) to maintain more than one cultivation site and dispense medical marijuana at satellite locations within the state, the eradication of the one-caregiver-per-patient rule and the elimination of the requirement that doctors prescribing medical marijuana appear on a public registry. Under the new regulatory regime, any New Jersey physician in good standing who has completed an active controlled dangerous substances registration with the State Division of Consumer Affairs can become certified to prescribe medical marijuana to qualifying patients.
The Governor touted these measures as necessary to eliminate barriers to access for patients who suffer from illnesses that can be treated with medical marijuana. This announcement comes as Governor Murphy continues his push to legalize recreational marijuana in New Jersey.