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Big changes coming to N.J.’s medical marijuana program as Gov. Murphy signs expansion bill

New Jersey has added more than 30,000 patients to its medical marijuana program since Gov. Phil Murphy took office last January, but now the state will soon have a market better suited to serve those patients.

Murphy on Tuesday signed a bill that overhauls the state’s medical marijuana program, following months of debate and negotiation with lawmakers that saw an effort to legalize recreational marijuana here fail.

The new law will likely add dozens of medical marijuana providers, greatly increasing capacity from the six providers currently operating.

It will also take steps to make it easier for patients to get medical marijuana by relaxing rules on how much they can buy and how many times they must see a doctor to qualify for the program.

The state’s program has been strained by the influx of patients, with complaints of long lines at marijuana dispensaries and supply shortages.

“We were one of the first states to have a medical marijuana regime…it just didn’t take off,” Murphy said Tuesday before signing the legislation during a ceremony at Tommy’s Tavern and Tap in Freehold. “A lot of us have come to an understanding of how medical marijuana can be used to help patients.” [Read more at]

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