New Jersey’s Gov. Phi Murphy is expected to receive a list of recommendations on Tuesday to expand the state’s limited medical marijuana program and widen its accessibility to patients.
Citing people with direct knowledge of the state Department of Health report, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly, NJ Advance Media has learned that the proposed recommendation would “loosen the program’s requirements and add medical marijuana shops across the state.”
The recommendations to be released on Tuesday are in line with Murphy’s top priority to revamp New Jersey’s medical marijuana sector.
After criticizing the program for being “constrained,” Murphy ordered the 60-day review of the program in January.
Medical marijuana advocates in New Jersey also say the program is too small.
General Phil Murphy orders a review of medical marijuana. (Video via NJ.com)
Only Six Medical Marijuana Companies
There are only six authorized companies taking part in New Jersey’s medical marijuana program. The report is expected to recommend that these six companies to be allowed to expand to additional facilities across the state, a move they have long sought after.
Another issue is that New Jersey’s medical marijuana law stipulates doctors to register with the state in order to be able to recommend marijuana to patients.
Out of New Jersey’s 28,000 doctors, there are only 536 doctors, who are registered. The report, meanwhile, proposed to make the registry voluntary.
New Jersey had also approved 43 conditions for its program last year, which included anxiety, chronic pain, and migraines, but the ailments were not officially added. The audit is expected to widen the list of ailments covered, making medical marijuana an option for thousands of more patients.
New Jersey, which has a population of about nine million, has roughly 18,000 patients enrolled in the state’s program. The registered patients are far less if compared to Michigan, a similarly sized state, that has 220,000 patients.
When ordering the audit in January, Murphy said:
“We cannot turn a deaf ear to our veterans, the families of children facing terminal illness, or to any of the other countless New Jerseyans who only wish to be treated like people, and not criminals.”