medical marijuana

Gov. Phil Murphy announced July 16 that the state is requesting applications for six new medical marijuana dispensaries to add to the existing six operational dispensaries, including Compassionate Care Foundation in Egg Harbor Township.

Medical marijuana patients can now shop for products and know how much it’s going to cost due to changes in the state program’s policies on price transparency.

New Jersey’s six operating medical marijuana facilities can now publicly post their product prices on their websites and social media after state officials said patients in the program should be armed with more information when making purchases.

“Medical marijuana patients should benefit from online price information just as shoppers do when they buy a car, a plane ticket or any other consumer goods,” Department of Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal said in a statement.

Listing product prices is an option, but not a requirement, and dispensaries can choose what, if any, price information to post on their websites, state officials said.

Since the announcement last week, Breakwater Treatment and Wellness in Cranbury, Curaleaf in Bellmawr and Harmony Foundation in Secaucus have listed prices for different amounts and strains along with their daily menus.

For a quarter ounce of flower bud, prices range from $85-$90 at Curaleaf to $85-$115 at Breakwater and $120 at Harmony, according to the centers’ websites and posts on Facebook.

Compassionate Care Foundation in Egg Harbor Township, Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge and Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair had not listed product prices as of Wednesday.

Assistant Health Commissioner Jeff Brown, who oversees the state’s Division of Medicinal Marijuana, said the price transparency puts New Jersey patients and dispensaries on par with program participants in Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

There are about 33,200 participating patients in the state’s medical marijuana program, according to the state Department of Health.

Of the 16,000 new patients who have joined since January, health officials said a majority have at least one of the five medical conditions added in March, which include anxiety, migraines, Tourette’s syndrome, chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders and chronic visceral pain.

In addition to adding more medical conditions, state officials earlier this year made reforms to the medical marijuana program by adding mobile access, opening the doors to satellite locations, changing requirements for physicians and reducing program fees.

South Jersey participants have said that while they champion the growth of the state program, the costs of participation remain high. At the price rates listed by several treatment centers, it would cost between $680 and $960 to buy the maximum purchase amount of two ounces per 30 days.

A majority of health insurance programs do not cover medical marijuana consultations and medicine products.

On Nov. 1, state officials are expected to announce which six applications they have selected to get new licenses to build and operate medical marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey. The department received 146 applications by the Aug. 31 deadline.

Contact: 609-272-7022 NLeonard@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressNLeonard

Previously interned and reported for Boston.com, The Asbury Park Press, The Boston Globe

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