About 4,200 patients have joined the New Jersey Medicinal Marijuana Program since Gov. Murphy took office in January.
A total of 1,500 patients have joined in the last month alone, bringing the program up to 20,000 served. Two-thirds of new patients this month fall into one of five new categories of medical conditions added recently, including chronic pain, anxiety, migraines and Tourette’s Syndrome.
"We’re adding 100 new patients every day,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal in a statement Tuesday. “This demonstrates that there was pent up demand. People with chronic pain now have the option of medicinal marijuana instead of opioids, and more than 100 strains are available.”
As the program has expanded, it has also changed to include mobile access, a cut in the biennial patient registration fee, and registration discounts for seniors and veterans. The regular fee is now $100, with a discounted rate of $80 for those populations as well as patients on government assistance.
Additionally, one Alternative Treatment Center has been granted permission to expand its Bellmawr operation. Five requests from three ATCs for satellite locations are currently pending.
To educate physicians as they join the medicinal marijuana program, Elnahal will give lectures this spring for medical students, residents, physicians, nurses, faculty members and leaders at hospitals and medical schools. The Department of Health will also offer a webinar. Approximately 600 physicians are enrolled in the program.