New Jersey medical marijuana patients can now buy cannabis vaporizer products after a change in rules from the state Department of Health. Last week the department waived regulations that prohibited vape pens, cartridges, and similar cannabis products from being sold at state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, according to media reports.
Until now, medical marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey were only allowed to sell cannabis flower, oral lozenges, and topical preparations. Two providers of medicinal cannabis have already requested permission to manufacture and sell vape products.
New Jersey’s medical marijuana program is currently undergoing an expansion called for by Gov. Phil Murphy earlier this year. Under the expanded program, more medical conditions will qualify, more dispensaries will be licensed, and more products made available. Since Murphy took office, the number of patients registered in New Jersey’s medical marijuana program has nearly doubled, from about 16,000 patients at the beginning of the year to more than 30,000 now.
The department of health will also be increasing the number of medical marijuana providers from six to 12. So far, the department has received 146 applications for the six new licenses.
The health department proposed new rules for the program earlier this year and should be completing the final version soon. Jeff Brown, an assistant health commissioner, told local media that adding new cannabis therapies is a priority for the health department.
“We’re always open to accepting ideas and applications for products,” Brown said.
George Schidlovsky is the president of Curaleaf NJ, a vertically integrated cannabis provider. He welcomed the ruling from the department of health and said that vaporized cannabis is a better option for some medical marijuana patients.
“Vaping is healthier than smoking,” said Schidlovsky. “That opens the door to a lot of new products.”
Vape Products Now Available In New Jersey
Curaleaf began offering vape cartridges at its dispensary in Bellmawr on Friday. Schidlovsky said in a press release from the company that customers appreciate new and safer ways to take advantage of the medicinal benefits of cannabis.
“These concentrates, which surpass the state’s high standards of quality, provide an alternative method of administration for patients who may not be able to benefit from topical or oral forms of medical cannabis,” said Schidlovsky. “Vaporizing cannabis concentrate is considered a healthier alternative to smoking, and is a fast-acting form of administration. I look forward to seeing the positive effect it has on Curaleaf’s patients in New Jersey.”
Schidlovsky noted that Curaleaf, which operates dispensaries and cultivation facilities in 12 states, is ready to serve patients in New Jersey’s expanding medical marijuana program.
“Receiving approval to launch these products is an important milestone in the progression of Curaleaf’s operations as well as in New Jersey’s medical cannabis program,” said Schidlovsky. “As the largest dispensary on the East Coast, serving hundreds of patients daily, Curaleaf has the resources and production capacity to reliably market and distribute new products that our patients depend on to live life well.”
The first offering of vape cartridges from Curaleaf NJ is now available and consists of four strain specific options including Lavender, Strawberry Cough, Cookies, and Canna-Tsu.