Medical Marijuana NJ

Why Does Medical Marijuana Purchase Have to be So Hard from State to State?

Monday, April 27th, 2020

medical marijuana nj

Elizabeth Kirwin, Editor and owner of Fairies in America.

After spending 2017-2019 in Colorado, and now living in New Jersey, I am absolutely a Medical Cannabis activist.  I feel there is really no need for recreational marijuana dispensaries in the U.S. if Medical Cannabis is made legal throughout the land.

The problem is that we have been working on Medical Marijuana since the mid 1990’s in California, and the rest of the country just has not caught on completely.  Places in the South, where cannabis has always been grown and sold illegally, are set staunchly against cannabis legalization for instance. Even conservative politicians warm far more easily to the idea of Medical Marijuana programs with proven results.

Yet the medical cannabis programs sometimes meet resistance at a state level, too.  It could take years to pass a medical marijuana bill with a list of realistic medical conditions that can be addressed by cannabis.  Then, some states, like Oklahoma, take forever to start launching the actual growing and dispensing of marijuana because matters are held up by politics for – over two years.  Where is the sense in this?  What is the capitalist equation? It’s an equation for disaster if a dispensary is in business to make money.

When a consumer has to cross state lines to obtain medical marijuana it’s a great big hassle.  Even in states in the U.S. where medical cannabis is legal, medical cards are not honored across state lines.  Some states have reciprocal agreements, but not all.  For example Coloradans with med cards can cross over into Nevada and use their med cards there.  Nice job Nevada.

The most forward thinking, best plan for interstate medical marijuana card usage is occuring, of all places, in Washington D.C.  Yes, my friends you can use a medical marijuana card from every state in the land in Washington D.C.  All of the medical dispensaries happily announce this to potential customers. If you happen to be in  Washington D.C., legal medical cannabis cards are honored from all states.Thank you Washington D.C. for showing us, the good people of this country, how it should ideally work.

Now, why haven’t other states replicated Nevada and Washington D.C.’s initiatives to honor medical cannabis cards from other states?  I ask, what possibly could be the benefit of allowing a medical patient no options once they cross certain state lines?  Not only does it absolutely suck for the patient, it also does not make any sense from a money-making point of view. Visitors from other states should be allowed to purchase marijuana in medical dispensaries in states where medical is legal.  It’s just that simple.

It’s time to start putting reciprocal agreements in place for states that are  medical cannabis friendly. This system as it stands is not fair to the consumer nor is it fair to the dispensary owner and grower, who need to move product.  More patients equals more product sales.

 


NJ Medical Marijuana Program Too Long a Wait and Too Expensive

Sunday, April 19th, 2020

medical marijuana nj

Elizabeth Kirwin, Editor and owner of Fairies in America.

by Elizabeth Kirwin

I applauded Governor Murphy during my last post for expanding the medical marijuana program to include conditions like chronic pain and anxiety.  I also want to give him a big KUDOS for the way he has handled the COVID-19 Pandemic in the state of NJ, right from the outset, deploying all of the best strategies to help mitigate the number of infections and death.

Today I have to criticize the Medical Marijuana Program in NJ, of which I am a part.  The process takes entirely too long. I can get a NJ license from the DMV same day.  A Medical Marijuana license took three weeks, from the date I first visited the Realeaf Alternatie clinic which cost $400!. That’s too long for any patient to wait and too much money for anyone to pay.  In Colorado, I had to wait a maximum of 3 days in order to print my own license on my home printer.  The visit to the clinic cost like $80 and my license from the State of Colorado was $15.

The other issue, which is major, is a lack of innovative product lines, such as a MUCH wider choice of medical edibles, wax and/or shatter and other innovative ways to drink or eat thc,

I got my new license in the mail one day late. On April 15, I went to the Curaleaf dispensary and waited two and one half hours to gain entrance to the dispensary.

Isn’t there a more efficient way to go about a legal cannabis purchase in the state of New Jersey?  Why is there only one dispensary in all of Camden County?  This drives the price up significantly. With less competition, the big players can dominate the market.  Why has it taken so long for new medical dispensaries to open? Has the COVID-19 Pandemic really slowed things that much?

It’s not fair to low income residents of the State of New Jersey with a medical marijuana card to pay these exhorbitantly high prices for cannabis (90-110 per quarter).  There are actually gluts in the market in  Colorado. In October of 2019, when I left, the retail price of cannabis was $950/pound.  In many medical dispensaries in Colorado Springs one could obtain an ounce of weed for $60-100. Why is is so expensive in New Jersey?

Governor Murphy, I implore you, please do something to expand the program here so that residents can legally grow their own small supply.It helps to bring the price down, and it is just a weed after all.

What is wrong with the medical marijuana system in New Jersey?  It’s about to be subsumed by Corporate greed, that’s what. There’s no reason for this to happen right away or – ever.

Give people a chance to grow their own and they won’t mess it up. Expand the number of dispensaries right away. Also, make it easier and less expensive for people to see marijuana doctors. The clinic is a great idea.

 

 

 

 


Getting Your Medical Marijuana Card in NJ

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

Thank you so much Governor Murphy for opening up the Medical Marijuana laws in New Jersey. Now people with chronic pain can make the transition off opiods, which are highly addictive and not recommended for long-term use.

Medical Marijuana laws in NJ also allow patients with Anxiety and Depression issues to cycle off the high addictive pychotropic drugs. Now, these patients have the option for a less addictive and gentler on the body type of relief: Indica strains or indica dominant hybrid strains of thc.

Most importantly, Governor Murphy saw the need to offer patients on Medicaid, SSI, SSD, and Disabled Military to receive special pricing at dispensaries. This includes a 20% discount on flower at my local dispensary. The program the patient is a participant in is noted on the NJ Medical Marijuana card so no extra IDs are needed at the dispensary.

Governor Murphy took the time to construct a program that will benefit many people in the state of New Jersey.

Don’t expect your regular primary doctor to prescribe medical cannabis, however! Jefferson Health System in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey has zero doctors who will prescribe medical marijuana. Other health systems may have pain management doctors who prescribe medical marijuana.

The best way to obtain a med card in NJ is to to go directly to a Medical marijuana doctor or clinic and have health records transferred there. I went through Releaf Alternative Medicine in Mount Laurel and had a good experience.

Cost for a medical marijuana doctor to examine your medical records and make a recommendation based on your qualifying condition(s) varies, depending upon the practitioner and the number of times the Marijuana doctor needs to see you in one calendar year.

It may take a little more time than Colorado to receive a NJ medical marijuana card, but it’s worth the wait. Medicine is high quality and consistent and the product market in NJ is expanding as new dispensaries come online.


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