Medical marijuana report release could lead to expanding N.J. program

TRENTON — New Jersey's medicinal marijuana program last year served 4,228 patients and their caregivers who chose from 33 different strains of cannabis to alleviate their suffering, according to the latest annual report issued by the state Health Department late Tuesday.

For some severely ill New Jerseyans excluded from the program, however, the report's release is vitally important for a big reason: It triggers a long-awaited review of whether additional illnesses should be added to the list of conditions that qualify people for to get medical marijuana.

Post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain are not on the list but patients and their advocates have said more people would benefit from the program if they were included. A bill is pending in the legislature to add PTSD to the list.

Health Commissioner Mary O'Dowd, in an interview with NJ Advance Media, acknowledged the criticism that the program...

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