New Jersey health official lobbies docs to recommend medical marijuana

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New Jersey’s health commissioner suggested the state’s 28,000 registered physicians should give medical marijuana more of a chance, a move apparently aimed at ensuring the state has enough physicians to accommodate a possible expansion of its MMJ program.

Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal “urged doctors to recommend vaping or to consume nonsmokable forms of cannabis”  in a speech at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, reported.

A lack of physician buy-in has been a problem for MMJ markets across the country, especially newer programs in states such as Illinois, Minnesota and New York.

It’s also one that could stand in the way of a planned industry expansion that New Jersey’s new governor is pushing – a situation the state’s top health official clearly wants to avoid, according to

Although the Garden State has seen a surge in recent months in registered MMJ patients – up to roughly 22,000 patients in May from about 16,000 in December – only 622 New Jersey physicians actively recommend MMJ to patients, reported.