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More Doctors Than Patients In Medical Marijuana Program [AUDIO]

The New Jersey Department of Health has compiled a list of physicians registered to participate in the state’s medicinal marijuana program.

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Since April, when the list was published to the Department’s website 60 doctors have joined the registry, for a total of 160 doctors registered. During the same period about 27 have asked to be inactivated for different reasons.

As of yesterday, 46 patients have registered, but the Department says more are in the process of registering.

State Health commissioner Mary O’Dowd says, “Some of the physicians that have asked to be inactivated have given a variety of different reasons. Some of them have retired. Others have moved locations and others have said that they’re not taking new patients and so they don’t want to be advertised on our website.”

“Patients who are interested in the medicinal marijuana program should ask their doctor if they are already participating or would be willing to participate because we have seen a number of physicians register with the program when they didn’t automatically register in the beginning because their patients have approached them about why they think this product would be helpful to them,” explains O’Dowd.

If an eligible patient’s doctor isn’t willing to participate, O’Dowd says the patient can look on her Department’s website to find a nearby physician in the program.

The Department also has a Customer Service line to answer both patient and physician questions. The customer service line, (609) 292-0424, is open from 8 am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

The Greenleaf facility is the state’s Alternative Treatment Center (ATC). O’Dowd says, “They continue to update the Department saying they will be ready to begin distribution in September.”

For a patient to be eligible for the medicinal marijuana program, their doctor must have been treating he or she for up to a year, the physician could have seen or assessed the patient for a debilitating medical condition on at least four visits or that a doctor assumes responsibility for providing management and care for that patient’s medical condition after conducting a comprehensive medical history and physical examination.

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