Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NJ DHSS starts marijuana registry for doctors

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) launched the physician registry for the Medial Marijuana Program today. No other state with a medical cannabis access law has this requirement.


CMMNJ press release below:

The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey CMMNJ

CONTACT: Ken Wolski or Chris Goldstein 609 394 2137 media@cmmnj.org

NJ DHSS starts doctor registry for marijuana

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) launched the physician registry for the Medical Marijuana Program today. No other state has this requirement. The details emerged in draft regulations DHSS released earlier this month.

LINK https://njmmp.nj.gov/njmmp/

Ken Wolski is a Registered Nurse and the executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey. He issued the following statement today:

"The entire physician registration program is unnecessary and was created in the draft regulations from DHSS and not the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. The law only calls for a patient registry, not a physician registry.

The DHSS says that there will be a public comment period on the draft regulations after they are published in the NJ Register in November. This new registry has no input from patients, legislators or the public.

Moreover, the physician registration program is even more limiting. A new requirement says that physicians must certify that they have completed medical education in Addiction Medicine and Pain Management within the past two years. Physicians must include the course title that covers these two areas, or they will be rejected from the registry.

This is a curious add-on. Marijuana is approximately as addictive as caffeine. Physicians should not be required to take a course in addiction medicine for recommending a substance with documented low addiction potential.

The physician, as part of the registry process, must further certify that the patient has not responded to conventional medical treatment for all qualifying conditions. This goes far beyond the law, which currently requires only a few diagnoses to be resistant to conventional treatment.

The physician is also required to attest that; 'I have provided education for the patient on the lack of scientific consensus for the use of medical marijuana.' This is a blatantly political statement, at odds with the law itself, and shows open hostility to the use of marijuana as medicine.

Finally, it appears that DHSS has also added a new Debilitating Medical Condition to the list that will qualify for medical marijuana. 'Agitation due to Alzheimer's Disease' is now included, arbitrarily, with no public comment.

While it is entirely appropriate to add this condition, it is entirely inappropriate to stop there. Why must tens of thousands of chronic pain patients wait a minimum of two years to be included in NJ's law, when the DHSS clearly has the power to add qualifying conditions so easily?”

CMMNJ is holding a Patient Advisory Group meeting at the Collingswood Public library at 7:00PM on Wednesday October 27th.

More information at www.cmmnj.org

CONTACT: Ken Wolski or Chris Goldstein 609 394 2137 media@cmmnj.org


  1. If they were actually concerned about a physician's education on medical cannabis, they would be requiring them to obtain CME credits from Patients out of Time via UCSF. "Since the clinical cannabis educational series began in 2000, they have been accredited to provide CMEs or CEUs to healthcare providers. The 2008 conference proceedings are now available online for physicians to earn CMEs and nurses and other healthcare professionals to earn contact hours for their continuing education requirements. The University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine has an online CME program" http://www.medicalcannabis.com/Healthcare-Professionals/continuing-medical-education
    Rather then being required to complete medical education in chronic pain and addiction. Again, disingenuous!

  2. Thanks, Lola, I'm working on getting your comments to DHSS Commissioner Alaigh.

  3. What "special credentials" does a NJ physician need to prescribe Fentanyl?

    Best of luck, Ken, in your efforts.
    However, I have begun to doubt the sincerity in intent by those who administer this program.

    Who will ensure that a patient's Doctor gets certified and prescribes where appropriate?

    I have spoken to two Physicians who state that they will decline to prescribe because they do not want to violate Federal Law. Regrettably this means that their patients will HAVE to "Doctor shop" and suffer an additional 12 month wait period to meet the letter of our law.

    This is not acceptable.

  4. Unfortunatly this battle will go on and on until Chris Christie is no longer in office. all we can do is hope for someone better to be elected the next time around. they will continue to give the sick and dying the run around while they twiddle their thumbs at the capitol with their already formed opinions that marijuana smoker (sick or not) are second class citizens that don't deserve any rights or medicine. Thanks Chris Christie

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