New legislation could boost New Jersey’s medical marijuana patient population

New Jersey medical marijuana companies might see more patients thanks to proposed legislation that would make it easier for state regulators to approve new conditions that can be treated with MMJ.

The measure is contained in a legalization bill unveiled last month that would create a recreational marijuana industry and make changes to the state’s existing medical marijuana law.

Among other things, the bill would create a Cannabis Regulatory Commission to manage the MMJ program. That agency also would be responsible for deciding which conditions qualify for medical cannabis, according to NJ.com.

Under current regulations, the state’s health commissioner and a panel of medical experts – along with the governor – have been tasked with approving qualified conditions, NJ.com reported.

But critics say that process is mired in red tape that makes decision-making about new conditions inefficient.

Only one condition, post-traumatic stress disorder, was added to the state’s conditions list between 2010 and the first part of this past March, NJ.com noted.

Gov. Phil Murphy did approve five new conditions toward the end of March.

A sponsor of the bill that includes the provision, state Senator Joseph Vitale, asserted that the change in who approves conditions could encourage more doctors to recommend patients to the program.

There are reportedly only 775 doctors out of the 28,000 licensed in New Jersey registered to recommend medical cannabis to patients.

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