The East Coast delivers big news, as efforts to expand New Jersey’s medical cannabis program caught the eye of the press this week because of the evolutionary support of Democratic Governor Phil Murphy—who succeeds Trump sycophant Chris Christie, a politician historically critical of any type of modification to laws banning the use of cannabis as medicine. Due to Murphy's efforts, 10,000 more patients are eligible for The Garden State's medical cannabis program, leading to calls from officials and patients for improved access via more dispensaries. Because of the growing use of medical cannabis in New Jersey, Murphy requested additional dispensaries for a state already serving over 25,000 patients.
The Associated Press reports that when the state Legislature failed to move forward with needed legislation, Murphy chose to act through the executive branch, asking the state health department to expand the allotted number of cannabis outlets. In a statement issued to his constituents via social media, the governor wrote, “We look forward to the opening of six new dispensaries so we can ensure that all qualifying patients who want access to medicinal marijuana can have it.” To top it all off, The New York Times devoted space in its regional coverage to the Murphy phenomenon and his daring moves to make more access possible in his home state.
Medical marijuana continues to have a growing effect on our own state economy. Recent statistics published by capitalist-friendly newspaper New Mexico Business Weekly have revealed that the nascent industry is reaching and exceeding high water marks, doing exceptionally well within a state economy whose only other significant gains have come from the oil and gas industry centered in the southeast part of the state.
Deriving their calculations from data provided by the New Mexico Department of Health, researchers and reporters at New Mexico Business Weekly discovered a 40 percent increase in our state’s annual medical cannabis revenue over the last year, as well as a 46 percent spike in compensation for those working in the industry.
Noting a growing number of patients and similar increases in transactions, the state of New Mexico recently updated and simplified the application process for prospective patients, adding another positive variable to the process. Using similar statistical research, NM Business Weekly has projected that annual cannabis sales in New Mexico will reach $108 million by the year 2022.