New Jersey’s Medical Cannabis Patients Now Getting Cannabis Delivered to Their Homes
As the coronavirus continues wreaking havoc on The Garden State, New Jersey has officially made it easier for their patients to access medicine. To keep patients away from the dispensaries and hopefully stop the spread of this virus, the state Department of Health announced Thursday that home delivery is now permitted.
“The Department continues to prioritize patient access during this unprecedented pandemic,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “This new waiver will allow [alternative treatment centers], once they have submitted a plan to the Department for approval, to deliver across the state.”
Governor Phil Murphy signed Jake Honig’s Law last summer in an effort to expand New Jersey’s medical cannabis program, along with provisions permitting home delivery. However, the service never began.
After hours-long lines kept patients in dispensaries throughout March, the program began discussing new ways to provide better service to its patients – many of whom are vulnerable to the coronavirus because of their pre-existing conditions.
With the crisis posing such a threat to these patients lives, dispensaries began pushing new hygiene and social distancing policies. Many have even started offering curbside pickup and online appointments to limit close contact.
Since its start, over 78,000 patients have signed up for New Jersey’s medical cannabis program. With this exponential growth, the long lines and product shortages have become problematic, especially when considering so many must drive long distances to reach their nearest dispensary.
Two new dispensaries opened in New Jersey in the last month. Zen Leaf Elizabeth in Union County and Columbia Care in Vineland. However, Columbia Care is offering home delivery from its dispensaries outside of New Jersey, claiming they will continue the trend in New Jersey as soon as it’s allowed.
While home delivery could put drivers at risk because they operate on a cash basis, this is another example of how the coronavirus pandemic is pushing regulatory forces to relax cannabis regulations.