New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, called for a doubling of the state’s medical cannabis producers today, from six to 12, according to an NJ.com report. New Jersey’s medical cannabis program developed supply issues earlier this year after a previous expansion added several qualifying conditions. The governor made the call after the New Jersey State Legislature failed in June to pass a bill expanding the program.
The New Jersey Department of Health said the program is adding 500 patients each week. The program has more than 25,000 participants as of now, almost double the number at the end of 2017. The huge rate of expansion has resulted in long lines and product shortages at dispensaries. The executive director of New Jersey’s Cannabis Industry Association, Hugh O’Beirne, said even doubling the number of providers won’t be enough supply for very long.
“As supply limitations impact patients’ accessibility to medicine, then the body that’s empowered to act on the patient’s behalf should act. If that person is the governor, then the governor should act. We’ve got people suffering. We’ve got children suffering for crying out loud.” — Hugh O’Beirne, via NJ.com
Medical cannabis producers in New Jersey are vertically integrated — the companies grow, process, and sell cannabis. The six new producers will be spread evenly through the state.