Doctors Behind New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Woes?

Some medical marijuana professionals in New Jersey believe the local MMJ industry is struggling because doctors have been reticent to sign up for the program.

Just 296 of the state’s 21,000 doctors have registered with the state to prescribe medical marijuana, according to the Star Ledger.

Dispensary officials and lawmakers believe that doctors do not want their names to appear on the public registry, which is located on the state’s website.

Some doctors disagree with the sentiment. Larry Downs, executive director for the Medical Society of New Jersey, said that dispensary owners simply overestimated the market size. Doctors, he said, are a “convenient excuse” for the program’s failure.

New Jersey’s most recent patient count is just 2,342, which is far lower than cannabis entrepreneurs and even legislators predicted when the first dispensary opened in 2011.

Dispensary owners initially predicted as many as 50,000 patients would sign up.

Lawmakers and dispensary owners have pegged the program’s woes on various reasons, including the absence of concentrates and edibles. Bill Thomas, who helped start Compassionate Care in Egg Harbor, quit the operation last week, saying he could no longer work without a salary.

3 comments on “Doctors Behind New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Woes?
  1. victoria smith on

    This is crazy. Actively practicing doctors can’t prescribe mmj. They can be denied Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement if they prescribe mmj. The only doctors who will/do write scripts are retired or in some kind of practice that does not include Mcare/Mcaid patients. In any state, there will be a small number of docs who write thousands of mmj prescriptions. 296 docs? That’s plenty. The problem is with the rest of the market. How many conditions qualify? Are there dispensaries to buy from once you have a card? Are dispensary prices comparable to black market? Have some cities banned mmj? If there is insufficient demand, it’s not because there are too few doctors, it’s because the market is to restrictive.

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  2. Glenn Charles on

    Get real. The DEA is constantly on the watch for “over-prescribing” doctors, and one of the signs they look for is doctors who sign the state forms for marijuana (which don’t allow prescription anymore, at least in Oregon). Fact 2 is that mary jane is still on the fed proscribed list, so anyone who made an actual PRESCRIPTION would be breaking federal law and among other things lose his medical license. I have a doctor highly in favor of natural medicines, that among them. He also is highly reluctant for some reason to visit a nice no-rent condo with bars instead of doors. 8]-

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