Governor Phil Murphy is moving ahead with a plan to expand New Jersey’s medical marijuana program.

The Murphy administration has announced it is seeking up to six new applicants to operate medicinal marijuana dispensaries in north, central and southern parts of the state.

Ken Wolski, the executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana, New Jersey said it’s very important to expand the program because “the Department of Health just approved medical marijuana for chronic pain for just about any reason you can think of — chronic pain for muscular skeletal issues and chronic pain of visceral origin, which is any internal organ in the body.”

Anxiety qualifies as well, "so it is very important to meet this increased need with an increased supply of marijuana,” he said.

He said there is still a stigma among doctors becoming involved in the medicinal marijuana program because most doctors were not taught about the endocannabinoid system in medical school. But he said it's encouraging that doctors are beginning to be encouraged to treat patients suffering with chronic pain and other conditions with marijuana.

“There’s obviously a growing demand for marijuana, and there has to be a growing supply to meet this," Wolski said.

According to the governor’s office, 10,000 more patients have signed up for medical marijuana in New Jersey since the beginning of the year. The program now has more than 25,000 patients, 1,000 caregivers and 700 physicians participating.

The governor's office also said the state Department of Health is working to expand physician participation in the program.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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