In an effort to help more New Jersey patients access the pain relief they need, Assemblywomen Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington) and Joann Downey (D-Monmouth) sponsor a bill that would allow health care practitioners to remotely authorize medical marijuana use via telemedicine.
The legislation stipulates that certain patients with limited access to in-office consultations could receive authorization from their doctor for medical cannabis through the use of telemedicine. Patients that do not fit the specified criteria would be required to see their doctor in-person once, but could then have future prescriptions renewed via telemedicine. Following the initial authorization, patients should have at least one in-office consultation with the practitioner on an annual basis in order for the patient to receive continued authorization. The practitioner may require more frequent in-office consultations if necessary.
Upon the bill (A-1635) being advanced by the Assembly Health Committee, the sponsors released the following joint statement:
“Many medicinal marijuana patients suffer from conditions that limit mobility, making frequent visits to the doctor’s office a significant barrier to the medicine they need. Residents of long-term care facilities, people with developmental disabilities or terminal illnesses, and patients who are medically housebound or receiving hospice care are some of our most vulnerable patients and are typically the ones whose access to medical marijuana is restricted by the requirement to renew their prescription in-person at their doctor’s office.
“The pain relief, muscle relaxation, nausea prevention and anxiety reduction of medical marijuana are too important to the people suffering from severe medical conditions to be hindered by in-person doctor visitation requirements. This bill will utilize today’s technology to help provide easier access to this beneficial medication on behalf of the people who need it the most.”