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State DOH to amend medical marijuana rules

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The New Jersey Department of Health will amend medical marijuana rules under the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.

The amendments are a follow up to Gov. Phil Murphy’s January executive order, which charged the Department with reviewing all aspects of the program to expand access and eliminate bureaucratic barriers.

“These rules … will expand access to marijuana therapy responsibly, and to thousands more patients who need it,” Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said.

The amendments include:

  • Reducing the registration fee for qualifying patients and their caregivers from $200 to $100;
  • Adding seniors and military veterans to those eligible for the reduced registration fee of $20;
  • Authorizing qualifying patients to designate up to two primary caregivers instead of just one;
  • Reflecting the addition of six “debilitating medical conditions:” PTSD, by statutory enactment; and five new conditions (anxiety, chronic pain of visceral origin, chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders, migraines, and Tourette syndrome), by the State Health Commissioner’s March 22, 2018, petition decision;
  • Streamlining the process to petition for the addition of “debilitating medical conditions” by removing the requirement that petitions first be referred to the Medicinal Marijuana Review Panel;
  • Emphasizing the advisory role of the Medicinal Marijuana Review Panel to include the provision of guidance and recommendations to the State Health Commissioner regarding the medicinal use of marijuana;
  • Allowing physicians to opt out of inclusion on a public list of participating physicians;
  • Removing the requirement of psychiatric evaluation as a condition of physician certification of minors as qualifying patients;
  • Creating an endorsement system for cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensing marijuana for medicinal purposes, which would increase the available supply of, and patient access to, usable marijuana;
  • Authorizing manufacturing and dispensing of medicinal marijuana in non-topical forms;
  • Repealing the three-strain limit on authorized cultivation and dispensary activity, and
  • Elevating the Medicinal Marijuana Program to division status within the Department of Health.


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Vince Calio

Vince Calio

Vince Calio covers health care and manufacturing for NJBIZ. You can contact him at vcalio@njbiz.com.

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