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Opinion: New Jersey should make patients a priority by issuing more medical marijuana permits

As a cancer survivor living with multiple sclerosis, I’ve experienced many symptoms over the years where medical marijuana would have made such a difference in my quality of life. But with no local dispensary to conveniently obtain the product, the lack of access and cost have been huge obstacles to my obtaining relief.

Unfortunately, I am not the only patient in New Jersey with this problem. There are over 110,000 registered medical marijuana patients in the state, but just 14 dispensaries to serve them. This is simply too few and the reason why New Jersey’s medical marijuana is not only difficult to access but also the most expensive in the country. And now I’m concerned patients are being entirely overlooked with the state so focused on setting up the adult-use recreational market.

The truth is, unless New Jersey issues more medical marijuana permits now, patients will face even longer wait times and supply shortages when adult-use sales begin later this year. I know this because it is exactly what happened to patients in other states that started adult-use marijuana sales with so few medical dispensaries up and running.

New Jersey can’t let this happen to patients here. The state should issue more medical marijuana permits now and make patients a greater priority.

Carol Martin
Ewing Township

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