New Jersey Medical Marijuana Registration To Begin Thursday
Joe | Aug 08, 2012 | Comments 0
Medical marijuana patients in New Jersey can begin registering for identification cards on Thursday, and the first dispensary is expected to open next month.
“It’s the first time the department will be interacting directly with potential patients and their caregivers,” state Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The announcement comes as the state’s first legal dispensary, Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair, N.J., grows its first crop of legal pot for patients. O’Dowd said it’s expected to be ready and fully licensed to open sometime in September.
It has been a long, hard road for medical marijuana patients in New Jersey, but now things seems to be progressing finally.
The law was signed in January 2010, but no patients have obtained legal cannabis yet.
Patients with only a handful of conditions — including glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and terminal cancer — qualify. And they must have recommendations from doctors they have been seeing for at least a year and who have registered with the state.
So far, about 150 doctors have signed up.
Under the process, doctors who think patients would benefit from pot will enter those patients into a state computer system and get an identification number that the patients will use to complete the process.
A registration card good for two years will cost $200. Patients on public assistance programs such as Medicare or Medicaid will have to pay just $20.
“The opening of a patient registry is a crucial and welcome step. For patients that have been kept in the dark for quite some time, this represents the light at the end of the tunnel,” said NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, a Democrat from Trenton and one of the Legislature’s main proponents of allowing medicinal marijuana.
Hopefully many patients will have safe access to medical cannabis very soon.