The Senate today concurred with Governor Murphy’s recommendations to legislation sponsored by Senator Declan O’Scanlon that would allow patients to be authorized for medical marijuana by telemedicine.
“Technology that has significantly changed the medical industry will improve the everyday health and wellness of eligible New Jersey residents who rely on medical cannabis to alleviate pain and treat their medical conditions,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “Doctors will be able to prescribe therapeutic marijuana electronically in certain circumstances, without requiring an in-office visit with the patients. The process will be easier and faster for patients.”
O’Scanlon’s bill, S-619, passed both houses of the Legislature overwhelmingly, but was conditionally vetoed by the Governor in April.
“Medical cannabis can be an effective treatment for an ever-expanding list of conditions, even replacing highly addictive opioid medications for some people,” O’Scanlon said. “Telemedicine is the healthcare of the future, and the pandemic demonstrated its value.
“Digital authorization will enable qualified medical cannabis patients who are medically fragile and homebound to mitigate their suffering,” said O’Scanlon. “Those who are terminally ill, in hospice care, confined to long-term care facilities, developmentally disabled, or certified homebound could benefit from easier access to prescriptions.”
Senator O’Scanlon has been an outspoken supporter of medical marijuana expansion. In July 2019, his legislation, known as the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act, was signed into law. This legislation was named after 7-year-old Jake Honig of Howell, who passed away after battling cancer.
New Jersey’s Division of Medicinal Marijuana currently serves over 68,000 patients.