The cannabis industry is continually evolving, including the medical and recreational programs that many states have established. On Tuesday, March 27, 2018, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed off on several expansions and changes to the state’s existing medical cannabis program, according to WABC, a New York TV station.
The state’s most significant amendment to the cannabis program is the addition of five new qualifying conditions, which are:
These conditions were chosen based on suggestions an advisory panel made in October 2017. Before Tuesday, the following conditions were the only ones that qualified for cannabis use in New Jersey:
Doctors in the state can begin recommending marijuana for patients with the five newly accepted conditions immediately. By extending the list of conditions that qualify New Jersey residents for cannabis products, the state will add more patients to their program — which currently includes 18,874 patients — and boost business for the existing marijuana companies throughout the Garden State. In fact, the addition of these types of chronic pain is expected to draw in thousands more.
Of course, change brings about new rules and regulations. Be sure to keep the following points in mind as you adjust to these new changes to New Jersey’s medical cannabis program:
These changes are all part of the first stage of an expansive set of updates Gov. Murphy intends to make to the program. Jackie Cornell, New Jersey’s Deputy Health Commissioner, also said the administration is planning to license more businesses to grow, cultivate and sell cannabis products. The entire process — including writing the rules, distributing licenses, constructing the buildings and receiving final approval — is expected to take about a year.
Gov. Phil Murphy seems to be everything right in our eyes. Though New Jersey’s medical marijuana program isn’t the most inclusive in the country, he’s moving in the right direction by adding reasonable qualifying conditions, lowering the price to join and increasing patient access to doctors and dispensaries. If every state were to follow in these footsteps, our country would be well on its way to becoming a nation that ultimately accepts marijuana for all its incredible medicinal powers and encourages patients rather than judging or criticizing them.
With 29 states and Washington, D.C., on board, we’re more than halfway there. Hopefully, changes like the ones Gov. Murphy is making will be contagious, and those other 21 states can start playing catch-up.
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