New Jersey has the most expansive medical marijuana in the country. But the Murphy administration is trying to change that.

Assistant Health Commissioner Jeff Brown, who oversees New Jersey’s medicinal cannabis program, has told the state’s six nonprofit marijuana treatment centers that if they apply to become for-profit entities, they must first present the Health Department with a plan for how they will lower costs for patients.

Ken Wolski, the executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana of New Jersey, said Wednesday that it’s vitally important to lower medical marijuana prices because many patients are limited financially.

“They can’t work, they may be on Social Security disability, and with the current price of marijuana in New Jersey at between $400 and $500 an ounce, it just really makes it impossible for them to take advantage of the therapeutic benefits of marijuana," he said.

He said allowing home cultivation of six marijuana plants for those enrolled in the medicinal pot program, which was originally part of the state's medical marijuana plan, would dramatically lower costs.

“You could have your little grow operation for less than $1,000 a year, rather than $6,000 or $7,000 a year.”

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He said if state lawmakers decided to allow a home cultivation program, the state could do it in such a way where controls could be maintained.

He explained home cultivators would be given a tag for each of their marijuana plants, so law enforcement could easily see that each of them was legal and had been registered and perhaps taxed as part of the medical marijuana program.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com