More and more medical professionals can now authorize medical marijuana for patients in New Jersey.
The state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission announced Friday that medical assistants and nurse practitioners are now eligible to enroll patients in the program and write recommendations for medical marijuana. Those interested in purchasing medical cannabis must receive such permissions to do so.
“Nurse practitioners and medical assistants are an integral part of medical practice and are involved in patient care, diagnosis and prescribing of drugs,” said Jeff Brown, executive director of the State Cannabis Regulatory Commission. in a press release. “We are excited to implement the process for them to participate in the program to provide better access to patients and to make the process more efficient for the offices of care providers. “
It’s part of Jake Honig’s law, which expanded New Jersey’s medical marijuana program by allowing patients to buy more marijuana and reducing doctor visit requirements, among other changes. It was signed two years ago, but officials continue to roll out its provisions.
The state has sought to lower barriers for patients to get medical marijuana referrals. Governor Phil Murphy signed a law in June that allows people to use telehealth to get their cannabis permits. Previously, people with certain chronic conditions and mobility issues found it difficult to go to doctor’s offices for multiple visits to keep their enrollment active.
New Jersey prohibits anyone, including patients, from growing their own marijuana. Many other states with medical marijuana allow patients to grow plants at home. A few lawmakers have introduced bills that would change this.
There are 1,311 doctors who can authorize patients to use medical marijuana. The state has more than 117,000 registered patients and 23 open dispensaries.
Physician assistants and nurse practitioners will be subject to the same requirements as physicians and must be licensed and in good standing, according to the commission. They must have a physical practice located in New Jersey.
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