May 25, 2018, New Jersey
New Jersey’s medical cannabis program is facing unprecedented shortages. At the start of this year, the state introduced some new provisions to expand the MMJ program. Following the expansion, the program experienced a huge influx of new patients. This exponential upsurge of MMJ patients has overburdened the existing dispensaries with demand. Now, as the situation stands, the MMJ dispensaries don’t have enough supplies and the patients have exhausted themselves in getting medications.
Addition of New Qualifying Conditions has Lead to This Shortage
In January, New Jersey’ Governor led a movement to expand the state’s MMJ program by increasing its accessibility. His office suggested adding several new medical conditions to the qualifying list. The legislature endorsed the measure in March. With the authorization of MMJ administration for additional medical conditions, it was only natural to experience an increased number of MMJ registrations.
In addition, the state also made the process of MMJ recommendations a bit easier for physicians. They were no longer required for enrollment in a public registry to become eligible for making MMJ recommendations. From terminal diseases such as cancer to the everyday nuisance of chronic pain, a wide range of medical conditions became eligible for MMJ treatments.
All these changes thus factored in to increase the number of MMJ patients overnight. It was indeed the intent of the state administration to make MMJ program untied and accessible. However, the administration didn’t know that the demand for cannabis as a therapeutic strain could be that huge.
Local media has reported that MMJ shortage is more recurrent in densely populated regions of the state where people have to stand and wait in long queues to purchase their medicine. In some cases, they have to leave dispensaries empty-handed.
Production and Distribution Haven’t Caught up with the Number of MMJ Patients
According to financial experts, the recent MMJ shortage crisis in New Jersey is a classic case of supply-demand imbalance. After the expansion of the program, 100 new patients are being added up to the program’s roster. As per the statistics, 20 percent of the total enrolled patients have been added to the program after the expansion. It is important to note that the state’s MMJ program has been around for more than eight years and one-fifth of its memberships are just a few months old.
The administration is now focusing to increase the legalized production and distribution of the strain in the state to catch up with the ever-increasing demand of the flower. Moreover, the state’s cannabis board is planning on issuing licenses to more dispensaries in the coming days.
Cannabis advocates have shown their concern about the shortage of MMJ products in New Jersey. But most of them are in agreement that it’s temporary. Similarly, they are of the thought that this type of crisis results in productive outcomes. To balance the supply, Arizona is going to expand its MMJ infrastructure and it will be good for the future of cannabis in the state.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]