New Jersey’s medical marijuana industry is struggling to gain traction, with dispensary owners saying the state’s process for registering patients is severely limiting the market.
Just six months after opening, Compassionate Care Foundation in south New Jersey has only attracted 600 or so patients. The number is far lower than the 5,000 patients Compassionate Care CEO Bill Thomas projected for its first year.
The climate is so challenging that Thomas has delayed a $357,000 expansion to his cultivation facility.
Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair – the first dispensary to open in New Jersey – has only 300 patients, while Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge currently serves 1,300 patients even though it has the ability to handle up to 25,000, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Currently, about 2,200 patients have registered with the state to purchase cannabis. Advocates believe the state’s process for registering medical marijuana patients is cumbersome and expensive, which turns potential customers away.
Patients say the registration process takes three months on average and costs about $1,000, including doctor visits. Once registered, patients can only purchase marijuana flowers, which run about $400 an ounce.
Advocates are trying to widen the net of patients to increase business. The Alternative Treatment Center Association, which represents the dispensaries, recently submitted a proposal to the New Jersey Health Department to allow delivery of medical marijuana to hospice facilities, hospitals and nursing homes.
The group also proposed a plan to allow the creation of marijuana lozenges, topical lotion, skin patches and capsules.
At least four state legislatures will consider replacing marijuana prohibition with regulation On Election Day, voters in the states of Colorado and Washington approved ballot initiatives to remove criminal penalties for adult marijuana use and regulate the substance in a manner similar to alcohol. State legislators from Rhode Island and Maine on Thursday will join the Marijuana Policy Project on a teleconference press call to announce that they are introducing similar bills to tax and regulate marijuana in their state legislatures. Joining on the call will be Rhode Island Rep. Edith Ajello (D-District 3, Providence) and Maine Rep. Diane Russell (D-District 120, Portland). Both of these lawmakers have supported marijuana reform legislation in previous sessions. The Rhode Island Legislature passed medical marijuana legislation earlier this year. Robert Capecchi, legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project, will be introducing the representatives and moderating the call. In addition to Rhode Island and Maine, similar proposals will be submitted in at least two other states -- Vermont and Massachusetts. "Last week, Washington and Colorado replaced their states' prohibitions on marijuana with a system of regulation and taxation," Capecchi said. "Both measures passed with roughly 55 percent voting in favor. "Gallup found 50 percent support for making marijuana legal last year, and that support has risen over the years," Capecchi said. "We are passing the tipping point when it comes to this issue. "Unfortunately, lawmakers have traditionally been behind public opinion when it comes to marijuana policy reform," Capecchi said. "With these...
Washington state's I-502 may not be the best piece of "legalization" legislation you've ever seen; it certainly has its share of warts, including the unscientific DUI blood limits for active THC, and the continued prohibition on home cultivation. But there are definite up-sides to the passage of 502. Among those delicious up-sides is the publication -- by the Seattle Police Department -- of a guide on how to legally use marijuana in the Emerald City. A cop-penned guide on how to legally use marijuana? That shit just couldn't have happened until November 6, man. Let's enjoy the thing, in its entirety. (The cops got a little clever, entitling their magnum dopus "Marijwhatnow? A Guide To Legal Marijuana Use In Seattle.") Now, let's enjoy it together, shall we? The world's first cop-authored guide on smoking legal weed... Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattle The people have spoken. Voters have passed Initiative 502 and beginning December 6 th, adults over 21 years old can possess up to an ounce of marijuana (or 16 ounces of solid marijuana-infused product, like cookies, or 72 ounces of infused liquid, like oil) for personal use. Marijuana has existed in a grey area in Seattle for some time now. Despite a longstanding national prohibition on marijuana, minor marijuana possession has been the lowest enforcement priority for the Seattle Police Department since Seattle voters passed Initiative 75 in 2003. Officers don't like grey areas in the law. I-502 now gives them more clarity. Marijuana legalization...