How many pounds of cannabis did the state’s dispensaries produce in 2015? How much does medical pot cost in NJ? Find out here.
New Jersey medical marijuana dispensaries produced more than half a ton of cannabis last year.
Surprising? There's more.
Last month, the New Jersey Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program released its 2015 Annual Report, which included the following statistics:
- New Jersey’s five licensed medical marijuana dispensaries produced more than 1,229 pounds of cannabis last year
- 6,960 qualifying patients and 631 caregivers have registered with the program since August of 2012
- 3,233 new patients qualified for medical marijuana in New Jersey in 2015
- 452 physicians have registered with the program since 2012
- The program’s Customer Service Unit has responded to 32,493 public inquiries via telephone and e-mail since its inception
- Counting a “carry forward” from fiscal year 2015, the NJ Medical Marijuana Program has a .04 million overall budget for 2016
Read the full NJ DOH report here.
As of April 20, New Jersey has five operational alternative treatment centers licensed to dispense marijuana.
- Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair served 141.7 pounds of product to 1,031 patients last year. Since its initial permitting in 2012, 1,493 patients have been served, 6,755 transactions completed, and 221 pounds of product dispensed.
- Compassionate Care Foundation in Egg Harbor served 302.7 pounds of product to 1,292 patients last year. Since its initial permitting in 2013, 2,275 patients have been served, 12,884 transactions completed, and 514 pounds of product dispensed.
- Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge served 634.9 pounds of product to 2,620 patients last year. Since its initial permitting in 2013, 4,785 patients have been served, 32,962 transactions completed, and 1,149 pounds of product dispensed.
- Breakwater ATC in Cranbury served 45 pounds of product to 413 patients from October to December of 2015. It was issued a final permit in October.
- Compassionate Science ATC in Bellmawr served 105 pounds of product to 778 patients from September to December of 2015. It was issued a final permit in September.
A sixth alternative treatment center, Foundation Harmony, has secured a host community in Secaucus, Hudson County, according to the NJ DOH.
“The examination of Harmony principals, corporate structure, and funding source was initiated on Dec. 2, 2014, and is ongoing,” the NJ DOH website reads as of April 20. “The department is working with Harmony to achieve regulatory compliance during the examination process.”
BLACK MARKET MARIJUANA IS CHEAPER
“The department’s vision of the ATCs as nonprofit organizations is that they benefit the participants of the medicinal marijuana program in a tangible way,” the NJ DOH states. “One such way is providing product at a reasonable price.”
According to the NJ DOH, as of March of 2015, the price of one ounce of medicinal marijuana dispensed by New Jersey ATCs ranged from 5 to 0, with an average price of 9.
Comparatively, the average price of an ounce of black market marijuana in New Jersey was 0 to 0 per ounce, NJ DOH officials stated.
New Jersey’s average price for medical marijuana was greater than Arizona (0 per ounce), New Mexico (4), Vermont (8), Maine (0) and Rhode Island (1).
According to state officials, New Jersey patients have received medical marijuana for the following conditions since the program began:
- Glaucoma - 6.07%
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease - 11.11%
- Intractable Skeletal Spasticity - 34.02%
- Lateral Sclerosis - 0.66%
- Multiple Sclerosis - 10.04%
- Muscular Dystrophy - 1.31%
- Seizure Disorder - 6.07%
- Severe or Chronic Pain - 25.54%
- Terminal Cancer - 7.08%
- Terminal Illness - 1.93%
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Under NJ state law, dispensaries are not limited in the number of strains of medicinal marijuana they are allowed to grow.
Since the launch of the program in December of 2012, there have been 104 strains initiated in the state’s five dispensaries, the NJ DOH wrote.
In addition, 21 strains have been discontinued, 83 strains are in cultivation and 68 total strains are currently available.
There are also 10 CBD-heavy strains available to patients (which have a minimum 1 to 1 ratio of CBD to THC).
NOT ENOUGH, ACTIVISTS SAY
Despite the apparent growth in New Jersey’s medical marijuana program last year, some activists are saying that it’s not nearly enough.
“Although the Garden State’s medical marijuana program was signed into law in 2010, implementation has been slow,” the Marijuana Policy Project asserts on its website.
“Currently, it serves only about 6,466 patients - a far lower proportion of the population than most other medical cannabis states - despite having been made law more than five years ago. Meanwhile, only five of the six permitted treatment centers are operational.”
The MPP continues:
“The low participation is more likely caused by unreasonably strict requirements, including that patient eligibility must be reassessed at least every 90 days, and doctors must register and take a course in order to recommend medical marijuana. As a result, only about 360 doctors in the state can recommend. In addition, the prices for medical cannabis are among the highest in the nation, making the program inaccessible for many patients, 48% of whom receive benefits from Medicaid or similar programs.”
However, the MPP states that there have also been positive advances in the NJ program, including the appointment of a panel of experts that will be allowed to add additional qualifying conditions, and the regulations allowing minors to use medical marijuana at school.
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Photo via Flickr Commons