New Jersey Is Adding 100 Medical Pot Patients a Day Under Murphy

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(Bloomberg) -- New Jersey is adding 100 medical marijuana patients a day under Governor Phil Murphy.

The state has accepted 1,500 people into the program in the past month, including 1,000 who have one of the five new categories of medical conditions added by Murphy, a Democrat who took office in January. Most of those patients have chronic pain or anxiety.

“This demonstrates that there was pent-up demand,” Murphy’s health commissioner, Shereef Elnahal, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Murphy, 60, supports expanding medical marijuana use and legalizing recreational pot. His predecessor, Republican Chris Christie, inherited the medical pot program and reluctantly permitted patients with certain conditions to use it.

In March, Murphy added anxiety, migraines, Tourette’s syndrome and chronic musculoskeletal and visceral pain to the eligible conditions list. He also halved patient registration fees, allowed more physicians into the program and added mobile access. The health department is spending $50,000 on a public awareness campaign.

The program is now serving 20,000 patients, including 4,200 who have joined since Murphy took office.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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