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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed legislation into law that will allow healthcare practitioners to remotely authorize medical marijuana use via telemedicine/telehealth.
Murphy signed the bill into law on June 24, according to a press release. Sponsors of the legislation included state assemblywomen Pamela Lampitt and Joann Downey, and state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon.
“You don’t need a high-potency product,” said Ryan Goodchild, director of education at TerraVida Holistic Centers, a chain of marijuana dispensaries in Sellersville, Malvern, and Abington.
More nuanced products are favored by patients and consumers with years of cannabis experience.
Going for a cannabis variety with the highest percentage of THC can be akin to guzzling straight 151 proof rum. You’ll feel it, but it won’t necessarily feel good.
The attorney general of New Jersey announced on Tuesday that the state will immediately begin allowing patients to obtain medical marijuana recommendations remotely via telehealth services amid the coronavirus pandemic.
This comes months before voters in the state are set to decide on a referendum to legalize cannabis for adult use.
“Today, we are making it easier for patients to choose telehealth services for any reason, including to avoid an in-person visit due to the continuing risk of COVID-19,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (D) said in a press release.
Out of crisis comes opportunity.
The coronavirus pandemic has slowed most traditional business to a dead stop. But in Pennsylvania, it has sparked a near revolution in the way the marijuana industry operates.
“It’s a hell of a thing,” said William G. Roark, a Philadelphia-area attorney with a cannabis law practice. “We may not be able to buy bourbon at a liquor store, but we now live in a world where we have drive-thru medical marijuana.”
New legislation scheduled for a vote in the full state Senate today would ensure patients also have the option of accessing medical marijuana through telemedicine, a growing health care segment that can be particularly useful for elderly individuals and others with limited mobility.
“A lot of people who use medicinal marijuana are pretty ill with cancer,” said Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth), the bill sponsor, by way of example. “Forcing them to go out of the house for treatment — there’s no sense.”