A decade the medical marijuana program was passed in New Jersey, major revisions to the program are now part of the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act if it finally becomes law. Regardless, the state of New Jersey is now going mainstream with its medical marijuana program. Today, there are over 50,000 patients who will take advantage of the NJ marijuana dispensary and purchase products through their doctor such as cannabis edibles to treat their conditions.
- Terminal Illness
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Muscular Dystrophy & Multiple Sclerosis
- Opioid Use Disorder
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which includes Crohn’s Disease
- Chronic Pain of Visceral or Musculoskeletal origins
This means that a patient with a doctor’s prescription can purchase cannabis edibles and products from a NJ marijuana dispensary if they have the aforementioned conditions. Plus, if a doctor conclude that standard treatments for the following conditions are not effective, they can prescribe marijuana products;
- Epilepsy and other Seizure Disorders
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Intractable Skeletal Muscular Spasticity
The new bill if passed would also allow for patients to obtain a medical marijuana card to purchase marijuana or cannabis products to treat symptoms of AIDS, HIV, or cancer such as nausea, vomiting, and pain.
Arguably the most important change the new act brings is the loosening of the definition about having a doctor having a “bona fide” relationship with the patient. In other words, the current law requires that the doctor essentially be the primary care physician or have a long-standing history with the patient. This means that a pre-approved number of appointments must be kept before a physician can prescribe medical marijuana.
The new law if put into place would remove such a requirement which means that any doctor in the state may prescribe medical marijuana even on the patient’s first visit. This is designed to make it easier for doctors to prescribe medical marijuana without having to take what may be unnecessary steps in doing so.
Resistance to Medical Marijuana by NJ Doctors
Although there has been extensive education about the benefits that medical marijuana may have for the many thousands of qualified patients, many New Jersey doctors have raised concerns about signing up to be a part of such programs. The fear comes from the fact that marijuana is still illegal at the federal level.
In response, the new bill does not require doctors to register with the state’s medical marijuana program in order to recommend products such as cannabis edibles to treat certain conditions. By not having a requirement for registry, it is believed that more doctors will start prescribing medical marijuana. This is bolstered under the law by having physician’s assistants and practical nurses recommended the products to patients.
With six NJ marijuana dispensary centers so far, the number will rise to twelve once it passes challenges in the courts. This means greater access for patients to use medical marijuana products such as cannabis edibles to treat certain conditions.