New Jersey legislature approves bill allowing physicians to use telemedicine to recommend medical cannabis to patients
In an effort to help more cannabis patients, the New Jersey legislature approved a bill that would allow healthcare professionals to use video-based teleconsultation to recommend medical cannabis to their patients, according to a report from the Cape May County Herald.
The law project, A-1635 / S-619, was approved by the Assembly by a vote on September 24, having previously been passed by the Senate by a 36-1 vote, the newspaper reported.
Many patients suffer from conditions that limit mobility, making frequent visits to the doctor's office a significant barrier to getting the medicine they need. Residents of long-term care facilities, people with developmental disabilities or terminal illnesses, and patients who are medically confined to home or receiving palliative care are among the most vulnerable patients and are generally those whose access to medical marijuana is limited by the obligation to renew their prescription in person at their doctor's office.
"Pain relief, muscle relaxation, nausea prevention, and anxiety reduction from medical marijuana are too important for people with serious illnesses to be hampered by the demands of in-person medical visits," said The bill's sponsors, MPs Pamela Lampitt and Joann Downey, said in a public statement. "This bill will use today's technology to facilitate access to this beneficial drug for those who need it most."
The bill would allow some patients with limited access to in-office consultations to receive medical cannabis recommendations from their doctors via telemedicine. Other patients would be required to attend an office visit but could then receive new recommendations via telemedicine, the newspaper reported.