A bill formally allowing cannabis telemedicine was approved by the New Jersey Assembly and the State Senate.
Unlike the special COVID exemptions, the bill would have first-time patients see the doctor in-person for their initial examination and then subsequent appointments via cannabis telemedicine. Only patients who have limited mobility would be allowed to have exclusively online medical care.
The bill was sponsored in the Assembly by Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington) and Joann Downey (D-Monmouth).
“Many medicinal marijuana patients suffer from conditions that limit mobility, making frequent visits to the doctor’s office a significant barrier to the medicine they need,” they said in a statement. “Residents of long-term care facilities, people with developmental disabilities or terminal illnesses, and patients who are medically housebound or receiving hospice care are some of our most vulnerable patients and are typically the ones whose access to medical marijuana is restricted by the requirement to renew their prescription in-person at their doctor’s office.”
It was sponsored in the State Senate by Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth).
“The pain relief, muscle relaxation, nausea prevention and anxiety reduction of medical marijuana are too important to the people suffering from severe medical conditions to be hindered by in-person doctor visitation requirements. This bill will utilize today’s technology to help provide easier access to this beneficial medication on behalf of the people who need it the most,” the Assemblywomen said.
The bill passed the Assembly on September 24th 68-6-3 and the State Senate 36-1.
Cannabis Telemedicine has been in place functioning since for some time.
It was originally approved as a COVID emergency measure in the spring. Under that measure the program has grown significantly as many seek medical marijuana (or therapeutic cannabis) to cope with the unexpected stress of sch an uncertain time.
Prior to COVID, cannabis telemedicine was steadily making its way through the legislature. It passed the Senate and Assembly Health Committee prior to COVID.