Gov. Phil Murphy

Bob Karp/The Record via USA TODAY NETWORK

New Jersey Gov. Murphy Expands Access To Medical Marijuana

March 27, 2018 - 10:53 am

TRENTON, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- Gov. Phil Murphy has unveiled some major reforms to expand access to medical marijuana in New Jersey after a panel he established released its recommendations Tuesday.

Murphy, who ordered an audit of the program after taking office in January, tweeted Monday, "We do this for the thousands of New Jerseyans whose relief from pain and suffering has been blocked by years of bureaucratic obstacles. We will expand access to medical marijuana for the doctors who have been unable to provide their patients with access to the care they need. And we will do this for caregivers and dispensaries who believe deeply in creating a patient-friendly culture."

Murphy said the program has been in place for 8 years and yet only 18,000 patients are registered.

Murphy wants it to live up to its potential.

"Since 2010 reality has never matched the promise of the compassionate use medical marijuana act," Murphy said.

Murphy announced that he is expanding the qualifying conditions for the state's medical marijuana program. They include anxiety, migraines, Tourette's syndrome, chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders and chronic visceral pain. Patients with these conditions are eligible immediately.

"Under former Gov. Chris Christie there were we a lot of strict limitations on who could qualify and Gov. Murphy has said he really wants to expand access," Politico New Jersey reporter Katie Jennings told WCBS Newsradio 880 before Murphy's announcement. 

More facilities will open and the patient fee will also be reduced from $200 to $100, with a $20 rate for veterans and seniors.

Murphy also wants to change the law to lift the two-ounce monthly limit so that people can get up to four ounces of the drug.

Murphy outlined all of the changes in a press release.