New Jersey’s medical cannabis program sees increase in PTSD patients

More than 450 people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder have enrolled in New Jersey’s medical marijuana program (MMJ) since mid-September, when Gov. Chris Christie agreed to add Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to the list of treatable conditions.

The PTSD enrollees amount to about 4% of the 10,800 MMJ patients who legally buy medical cannabis from one of New Jersey’s five dispensaries, reported. The increase adds further momentum to New Jersey’s medical cannabis program, which has had to overcome numerous obstacles.

According to a state health department spokeswoman, 466 people who said they suffer from PTSD have qualified for the medical cannabis program since Christie’s decision.

The state health department’s medical advisory board has said it would consider requests from dozens of people to add other qualifying conditions for MMJ. The requested conditions include different causes of chronic pain, osteoarthritis, lupus and Lyme disease.

Chronic pain, in particular, could provide a big shot in the arm to New Jersey’s MMJ program by boosting the state’s patient pool and, potentially, sales.

New Jersey’s MMJ program has been hampered by a governor who, until recently, has shown little enthusiasm for medical cannabis. Moreover, the industry has been dogged by a dearth of doctors willing to be certified to recommend medical cannabis.