I have been a very big critic of New Jersey's medical marijuana program. The list of qualifying conditions is very short, patients aren't allowed to grow their own medicine, and the only legal way that they can obtain medical marijuana is by visiting a licensed medical marijuana dispensary. Up until recently, there were only four dispensaries for the entire state. A fifth one opened this last week. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
The fifth dispensary in the state opened its doors this morning after getting final approval Wednesday from the New Jersey Department of Health.
Breakwater Treatment & Wellness - located in southern New Jersey's Middlesex County - will see patients by appointment only for now. The dispensary plans to grow enough cannabis to eventually serve up to 3,000 patients, an executive told NJ.com.
It's the second permit New Jersey has granted in two months, breaking a logjam in dispensary openings.
The sixth and final dispensary, Foundation Harmony in the city of Secaucus, remains in the background-check phase of the licensing process.
It's great that there is another safe access point in New Jersey, but it's still a bittersweet thing. I receive a lot of e-mails out of New Jersey from people that desperately need medical marijuana but can't qualify for the program. I also receive e-mails from existing patients saying that supply shortages, poor quality of medicine, and high prices are something that they have to deal with regularly. The patients of New Jersey deserve a much better medical marijuana program than they have now, but with a Governor like Chris Christie, I don't expect the program to change anytime soon.