N.J. may add 12 medical marijuana dispensaries

(Shutterstock Stock)

(Shutterstock Stock)

New Jersey lawmakers are looking at legislation to expand the state’s medical marijuana program.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora said his bill would allow an additional 12 medical marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey.

“Currently the state allows six. Only five are open. Many patients say they don’t have ready access to the dispensaries,” he said. “It would also be a way of creating competition and lowering the cost of the product itself.”

Other forms of the drug — including edibles and oils — would be allowed at the dispensaries if the measure becomes law.

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The legislation would also add chronic pain to the list of medical conditions that qualify for the medical marijuana program, said Gusciora, D-Mercer.

And it would eliminate the requirement that doctors in New Jersey enroll in a state registry to be able to prescribe the therapy.

“This has been burdensome for a lot of the patients, particularly those who have MS or AIDS or cancer,” he said. “They would go to their own physician, and then they would have to go to a special doctor just to recommend medicinal marijuana.”

Gusciora, who said he doesn’t expect much opposition to the expansion, said the big challenge will be legalizing recreational use.

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