Good news, N.J. medical marijuana users: You can now buy vape cartridges.
Medical marijuana patients in New Jersey will now be able to buy a product that previously hasn't been allowed in dispensaries in the state: Vaporizer cartridges filled with marijuana concentrate.
The state Department of Health last week waived the rule that restricted the six medical marijuana providers in New Jersey from selling the cartridges. The Department has already received requests for permission from two providers to start producing and selling those products.
Curaleaf New Jersey, the Bellmawr-based dispensary, will start selling its cartridges on Friday, the company said Thursday night.
Jeff Brown, assistant health commissioner, said allowing more medical marijuana products to be sold in New Jersey is a Health Department priority and part of the new rules it proposed earlier this year. Those rules are expected to be finalized in the coming weeks, but Brown wouldn't give a specific timeline.
"We're always open to accepting ideas and applications for products," Brown said, adding that he didn't see the point in waiting for the rules to be finalized to allow providers to start selling concentrates.
Breakwater Treatment and Wellness, in Cranbury, was the other dispensary to ask the DOH for permission to start selling the vaporizer cartridges. The Health Department is still considering Breakwater, Brown said.
"Vaping is healthier than smoking," said George Schidlovsky, president of Curaleaf NJ. "That opens the door to a lot of new products."
The cartridges are filled with an oily concentrate that has been extracted from the marijuana flower. The cartridge is then attached to a vaporizer, which can often looks like a pen. Instead of using a flame to combust the concentrate, the devices heat it to a temperature that causes vaporization, eliminating many of the harmful byproducts of combustion.
The science is still out on whether vaping is without health concerns, but Brown said the move is all about giving patients more options. Prior to this move, the dispensaries were only permitted to sell three types of products: flower, oral lozenges and topical oils.
New Jersey's medical marijuana program has grown to more than 30,000 patients, up from just more than 16,000 patients when Gov. Phil Murphy took office at the beginning of the year.
In July, Murphy called for a doubling of Jersey's medical marijuana program, from six providers to 12. The Health Department last month received 146 applications for the six slots, which will be chosen by the end of the year.
Original Article by NJ.com