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Lack of Specific Products Leaves New Jersey Medical Cannabis Patient Feeling Left Behind

The lack of products like transdermal creams and suppositories in the market leaves me, a New Jersey medical cannabis patient, feeling left behind.

Every month, a flood of new recreational dispensary licenses are approved by the NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC). It’s becoming evident that the people making the rules have neglected to focus energy on the expansion of the medical cannabis market.

Virginia and New Jersey Medical Cannabis Comparisons

I moved home to New Jersey from Virginia last July. Having a medical card at that point was a tremendous plus. I had a great time roaming around the state to see new stores and take advantage of the first-time medical shopper discounts offered by cardholders.

I was surprised, however, to notice the absence of two medical cannabis products, transdermal creams and suppositories.

In Virginia, as a medical cannabis patient, I had the choice of transdermal creams for my topical pain relief or lotions. I found both effective. But, transdermal products have an added ingredient to penetrate the skin barrier and go deeper into the tissue for enhanced pain relief. For managing my chronic pain, transdermal creams were an absolute game changer.

The products available in New Jersey are helpful. But none of them are transdermal products. This would be tremendously more effective for New Jersey medical cannabis patients with severe pain. When I noticed their absence, I assumed the market was expanding and that I would see transdermal creams soon. It was a Rise Dispensary in Virginia that I had shopped at. They’re also in New Jersey.

New Jersey Medical Cannabis Patient Issues

The second product I noticed is missing in New Jersey is cannabis suppositories. They are available in medical cannabis dispensaries in other states. But not here.

They may not be as glamorous as the next round of edibles the CRC approves. But for many patients they can be tremendously helpful.

In terms of women’s health, they can help with cramps and pelvic pain related to a variety of conditions. I found them helpful as I was navigating the process of a hip replacement. They seemed to provide local pain relief to the entire pelvic region without psychoactive repercussions. Cancer patients often don’t want to inhale cannabis so they use suppositories to increase their quality of life and to help stop nausea from chemotherapy.

I made the assumption that with the flurry of activity and expansion of the market, these things would appear soon. So, I enjoyed all the discounts and decided to be patient and wait to see what happened.

In other states, as the adult use markets have grown, the variety of products for patients has grown too.

My patience has not seemed to pay off. It has brought me increasing frustration on how things are being handled by leadership. I renewed my card with some hesitation as it became clear the adult use dispensaries were having better sales than the medical sides.

As a frugal medical consumer, I watch all the adult use stores and shop in bulk when there’s a discount.

In the last few months, my card hasn’t saved me much. There doesn’t seem to be much of a menu for patients anywhere, and it hasn’t given me the right to grow my own medicine.

The thing is most upsetting about this situation is that cannabis legalization became popular because it became recognized as a medicine.

I adore the booming recreational market in New Jersey. But can we please discuss how this green wave can support patients by allowing home grow, expanding New Jersey medical cannabis menus, and enhancing discounts for patients?

The New Jersey medical cannabis program has been going on for a long time. However the potential earnings associated with the adult use market have taken control of the ship, and patients with medical cards are being forgotten.

By Mary Ellen Lorello

Cannabis Coach & Educator

Instagram @thebalancedgourmet

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