New Jersey Department of Health

PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
February 19, 2019

Shereef Elnahal

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Media Advisory: Health Commissioner to Give Medical Marijuana Lecture at Rowan University

New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal will deliver his ninth medical marijuana Grand Rounds lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at Rowan University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine to provide medical students with an overview of the program and research which has demonstrated the benefits of medicinal marijuana for patients with certain conditions.

"These lectures are opportunities to discuss the evidence that does exist around medical marijuana therapy, for medical students, residents, and faculty alike," Dr. Elnahal said.

The Commissioner will outline the Murphy Administration's significant expansion of New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Program, making it more consumer friendly to patients, physicians and dispensaries. The number of patients has more than doubled in the past year and six new businesses have been selected to become Alternative Treatment Centers.

“I am grateful to Commissioner Elnahal for taking the time to visit our school to help educate our students on this important topic,” said Dr. Thomas Cavalieri, Dean of the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. “As our students prepare to assume their roles as the next generation of physicians, understanding how their future patients may be able to benefit from this therapeutic intervention is vital to their overall effectiveness as physicians."

The lecture will begin at 12:10 pm at Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine, Academic Center, Multi-Purpose Room, One Medical Center Drive, Stratford, NJ, 08084.

During the lecture entitled “Giving the Green Light to Medicinal Marijuana: An Overview of NJ’s Program and Evidence,” Commissioner Elnahal discusses the results of national studies in which medical marijuana has demonstrated benefits for patients with certain medical conditions and provides an overview of the significant improvements that have been made in the program during the first year of the Murphy administration.

More than 40,600 patients, 1,689 caregivers and 893 physicians currently participate and six Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) are operating in Montclair, Woodbridge, Cranbury, Bellmawr, Egg Harbor Township and Secaucus. Six new medical conditions have been added, fees and wait times have been reduced, mobile access has been added and ATCs can open satellite locations.

Last month, the Governor announced the addition of opioid addiction to the Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) as an eligible condition.  The program will have expanded availability by allowing for the use of medical cannabis as an adjunct to Medicated Assisted Treatment (MAT) for all patients that suffer from opioid addiction, not only those with chronic pain. More than 30 patients have joined the program under this new qualifying condition.

In December, six businesses were selected to apply for permits to open new medical marijuana dispensaries. Two applicants were chosen for the north, central and southern parts of the state, ensuring patients have better access to pain-relieving medicine.

Commissioner Elnahal’s lecture series began in late May 2018. More than 2,500 physicians, students and other clinicians attended the lectures, which were held at Hackensack University Medical Center, St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Virtua Health, Hunterdon Medical Center and AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

Search the hashtag #MedMarijuanaTalk on social media or visit our Medicinal Marijuana webpage for more information. 

Follow New Jersey Health Commissioner Elnahal on Twitter.

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