New Jersey’s Medical Cannabis Program in Decline

New Jersey’s medical cannabis program is facing a significant decline in patient numbers, with many patients feeling abandoned by the state. The program, established in 2010, has seen a significant drop in patients, from a peak of 129,000 in May 2022 to around 80,000 currently.

Patients are citing a lack of effort from the state to maintain the program, with many feeling forced to choose between paying for medical cannabis and paying for doctor’s appointments. Medical cannabis sales have also decreased, from $226 million in 2022 to $124 million in 2023, while adult-use sales continue to rise.

Despite efforts from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC) to support the medical program, patients are still facing significant obstacles, including high costs associated with doctor’s fees and cannabis products. The NJ-CRC has reduced medical cannabis card fees and introduced digital cards, but patients are still struggling to afford the costs.

State law requires doctors to certify patients for medical cannabis, but many doctors are not taking new patients, and those who are, are charging high fees for certification. Patients are also facing high costs for cannabis products, with some spending up to $15,000 annually.

Legislators have attempted to pass bills to extend insurance coverage to medical cannabis costs, but none have been successful. Patients are calling for changes to the law, including allowing home cultivation and limiting certain products to medical-only patients.

The NJ-CRC has stated that it is committed to supporting the medical cannabis program and is reviewing the rules to find ways to better serve patients. However, patients are still feeling frustrated and abandoned, with some calling for the program to be scrapped and merged with the adult-use program.


  • No comments yet.
  • Add a comment