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N.J. medical marijuana prices could be cut under new plan. They’re now highest in nation.

Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration will help lower the cost of medical marijuana by requiring for-profit companies entering the market to show how they will cut prices before the the Health Department allows them to operate.

With premium dried weed costing as much as $500 an ounce and no insurance company willing to cover the expense, many of the state’s 60,000 registered patients struggle to pay for their medicine every month.

In an email sent Tuesday to New Jersey’s six nonprofit alternative treatment centers — the formal name for licensed growers and retailers in New Jersey — Assistant Health Commissioner Jeff Brown explained that if they apply to change their status to a for-profit venture, they’ll need to submit a plan explaining how they will cut costs and expedite the opening of new dispensaries.

“We want to see them accountable to what they pledge to do with these plans,” Brown told NJ Advance Media.

In July, Murphy signed a law that allowed medical marijuana providers to voluntarily switch from operating as a nonprofit to a for-profit. The nonprofit owners asked for the amendment because they have struggled to find investments and were forced to pay exorbitant interest rates on loans. Marijuana possession and distribution remains a federal crime, despite state law permitting it. [Read more at NJ.com]

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