Trenton – Medical marijuana patients in New Jersey will soon have a choice of buying edible drops and enhanced lotions to help ease their suffering, according to the south Jersey dispensary that won approval Friday to manufacture and sell the first non-smokable products in the state.
Compassionate Sciences in Bellmawr, Camden County, expects to begin selling two cannabis-enhanced topical products within the next seven to 10 days. Lozenges will be available to all within a month, according to a statement from dispensary.
“These products, which have been formulated to meet the state’s high standards of quality, represent a huge step forward for New Jersey’s medical marijuana program that will move it into a new phase of innovation that will benefit thousands of patients,” said Steven Patierno, a physician and a member of the medical board of advisors for PalliaTech Inc., which operates Compassionate Sciences.
“For children and elderly patients, in particular, topical and oral forms of medical cannabis are a crucially needed alternative to inhaled medicines, which can be difficult to administer to those patients,” he said.
Smokable marijuana has been available since December 2012 but patients have been clamoring for alternatives. The most vocal consumers have been the parents of children with seizure disorders, many of whom have taught themselves to make cannabis oil.
Patients who want to try these new products must be registered with Compassionate Sciences under state rules that require people to affiliate with one dispensary.
Compassionate Sciences opened in October and serves 1,725 patients.
A patient advocacy group described the announcement as “a monumental day for so many patients throughout New Jersey. . .who have been waiting for years for badly needed alternative forms of medical cannabis treatment.”
“Compassionate Sciences has been ahead of the curve since day one, and we look forward to working with its team to ensure patients throughout the state can learn about and access these new products,” said Peter Rosenfeld of the Coalition of Medical Marijuana.
Health Department spokeswoman Dawn Thomas confirmed Compassionate Sciences, Inc. had secured approval Friday “to proceed with the manufacturing of lozenges and topical formulations based on compliance with manufacturing standards.”
Patients of all ages may buy the topical and edible products, Thomas said. Gov. Chris Christie had at one time said edible products would be for children only, although the 2010 law did not differentiate any age restrictions.
The health department “will do regular inspections to ensure that (Compassionate Sciences) is adhering to regulations as well as guidelines which cover items such as quality control, ingredients, sanitary conditions, packaging and qualifications of staff,” Thomas said.
Webster B. Todd, Jr., board chairman for Compassionate Sciences, thanked the state for its assistance, and promised to “continue exploring innovative new ways to provide pharmaceutical-grade quality care in the future.”
“Since opening our doors nearly a year ago, Compassionate Sciences has been dedicated to providing our patients with the highest standard of care, which is why we have invested so heavily in the technology to manufacture these new products” said Todd, who is former Gov. Christie Todd Whitman’s brother.
There are five dispensaries in New Jersey serving 8,950 patients, Thomas said.
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Full Article: A Brand New Way To Take Medical Marijuana In New Jersey
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