Number Of Medical Marijuana Patients Doubles In New Jersey

October 22, 2018 - 2:03 pm

TRENTON, N.J. (WCBS 880/AP) -- Gov. Phil Murphy's administration says New Jersey's medical marijuana program has doubled to 34,000 patients since he took office.

The Health Department said Monday that the majority of the 17,000 new patients have one of five medical conditions Murphy made eligible for coverage in March. Among the new conditions are anxiety, migraines, Tourette's syndrome and two types of chronic pain.

The department also said 800 doctors, up from 500, are now participating in the program.

Murphy pledged to expand the roughly decade-old medical marijuana program as well as legalize recreational pot. Lawmakers are still working on legalizing recreational use; Murphy has said he hopes to have it done by the end of the year. 

Murphy's administration is also touting reduced wait times for ID cards and the ability to comparison shop between different dispensaries.

The state is considering doubling medical cannabis treatment centers to 12.

The Health Department says it’s also exploring allowing anyone who may have an opioid addiction to start using medical marijuana. According to the state, New Jersey’s on track to see 3,000 opioid deaths this year.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)