In response to Executive Order No. 6, issued by New Jersey Governor Phil, the New Jersey Department of Health (the “Department”) reviewed certain elements of New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act and the implementation of the Medical Marijuana Program (“MMP”) (Executive Order 6 Report).
The Department’s review focused on improving and expanding patient access to medicinal marijuana, and included, but was not limited to, (i) a review of the current list of debilitating medical conditions for which medical marijuana may be authorized; (ii) physician flexibility to make determinations about qualifying conditions; (iii) rules of operation and siting for dispensaries; and (iv) methods by which patients and caregivers obtain product.
The Department’s analysis resulted in the recommendation and approval of an immediate expansion to the MMP. The first stage of the expansion includes the addition of five conditions to the existing list of diagnoses for which medicinal marijuana can be prescribed. Patients with chronic pain related to Musculoskeletal Disorders, Migraines, Anxiety, chronic pain of Visceral Origin, and Tourette’s Syndrome are now eligible to participate in the MMP.
The Department will also be revising New Jersey regulations to permit Alternative Treatment Centers (“ATC”) to operate and dispense at multiple satellite locations. In advance of formal revisions to MMP, providers can apply to the Department for waivers from the ATC-dispensary restrictions.
Additional formal revisions to existing MMP regulations will allow patients to designate two care-takers instead of one, will eliminate the 10% TCH limit currently in place, and will repeal the requirement for psychiatric evaluation prior to prescribing to a minor.
The Department is continuing to evaluate recommendations for further expansion of the MMP, evidencing the State’s continued efforts to improve and increase accessibility to alternative treatment.