NJ posts draft rules for medical marijuana

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services today released its draft of the regulations that will govern the registration and application for patients, doctors and other caregivers, growers and dispensaries to participate in the state’s Medicinal Marijuana Program.

Doctors will be able to register on line later in October and submit names of patients with debilitating conditions such as cancer, AIDS, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease whom they are recommending to get medical marijuana.

Marijuana green

Those patients can then register and they will be issued photo identification cards by the end of 2010. The draft rules said that the patient registration fee will be $200, although those who qualify for certain state and federal programs could pay a reduced $20 fee. Those registrations are good for two years.

Two nonprofit cultivators and four nonprofit dispensaries would be selected through a competitive process and each of those six, so-called Alternative Treatment Centers would be located in three regions of the state: north, central and south.

According to the health department, key provisions of the draft rules include:

  • Physicians must have a bona fide and ongoing relationship with qualified patients they are recommending for the program.
  • Physicians are required to obtain informed consent from patients.
  • ID cards are required of everyone in the program: Patients and caregivers, as well as owners, operators, board members, staff and volunteers of cultivation sites and dispensaries
  • Nonprofit principals, board members, owners, operators, and employees of Alternative Treatment Centers and primary caregivers are required to undergo criminal background checks.
  • ATCs have to document a plan for record keeping, inventory control and security that ensures the confidentiality of patient information and maintains the security of the sites.
  • Dispensaries have to provide educational materials and counsel patients on aspects of treatment including the risks and benefits of using medicinal marijuana.

To check out more Check Up items go to www.philly.com/checkup.

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