A New Jersey physician who wrote thousands of recommendations for medical marijuana had his license suspended by the state Wednesday and was ordered to cease practicing medicine altogether by February 8.
Anthony Anzalone, a former OB/GYN, was one of the first doctors to register with the Garden State’s medical marijuana program when it launched in 2012. He told a reporter for the Inquirer and Daily News that he viewed it as “a promising alternative medicine.” Because insurance does not cover cannabis, he initially charged $100 in cash for a visit and required three visits before he would issue a certification.
After rebranding himself as “Dr. Marijuana,” Anzalone grew his practice to became a multimillion dollar enterprise with three North Jersey offices. He collected $350 from each patient for writing the equivalent of a cannabis prescription. At one point Anzalone had signed more patients up for the program than any other doctor.
State officials this week branded Anzalone as “unscrupulous” for indiscriminately authorizing the drug for thousands of people who did not qualify for the program.