Oregon has hundreds of dispensaries spread all over the state, with a population of under 4 million people. New Jersey has twice as many people as Oregon does, but only has three dispensaries in operation. Obviously, there are more licensed patients in Oregon, but that's because Oregon has a much more compassionate medical marijuana program than New Jersey's. New Jersey has one of the most strict medical marijuana programs in the country, which leaves most patients unable to qualify to become a licensed patient. It's something that I have been complaining about since New Jersey legalized medical marijuana around the same time that I co-founded this blog.
New Jersey is getting a much needed fourth dispensary next month. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
More than five years after New Jersey legalized medical marijuana, the state's fourth dispensary is finally ready to launch.
Compassionate Science Alternative Treatment Center plans to open in the town of Bellmawr next month, according to an announcement by the state's health department.
It will join three other dispensaries in the state, the last of which opened in late 2013.
"We anticipate opening the first week of October, once we get our product harvested and lab-tested by the state and approved for distribution," Compassionate Sciences spokesman Andrei Bogolubov told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
New Jersey's safe access program has been riddled with supply shortages and price gouging. It's tough to say if this fourth dispensary opening will help reduce those problems, or if it will just continue the trend. New Jersey's medical marijuana program is in desperate need of improvement. There needs to be more qualifying conditions added to the program, there needs to be more dispensaries, and patients need to be able to cultivate at home to save money if they have the skills and means to do so, among other much needed program changes.