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New Jersey Slashes Medical Cannabis Fees as Patients Increasingly Turn to Burgeoning Rec Market

New Jersey’s adult-use cannabis sales saw a 10% increase in the third quarter to $176.9m, but the state is struggling to keep patients enrolled in its medical cannabis programme.

According to new figures from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC), between July and September this year the state made a total of $206.1m in combined adult-use and medical cannabis sales, representing $762.9m so far this year.

This increase has largely been driven by the accelerated rollout of licences and opening across the state, including 64 new approvals for cultivators, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and delivery services made last week.

The growth in New Jersey’s adult-use market has seen average prices per gram drop from $13.96 in January to $12.49 in October, but it has also led to a significant decline in the state’s medical cannabis programme.

Since the legalisation of recreational cannabis in April 2022, medical cannabis patients faced with some of the highest prices and lowest taxes in the country have increasingly been moving to the adult-use market to self medicate.

This exodus has seen medical cannabis patient numbers drop from 128,548 in April 2022 to 93,924 in December 2023, with revenues between July and September falling from $33m in the previous period to $29.2m.

In an effort to stem these dwindling numbers, the CRC has announced plans to significantly reduce registration fees for patients.

Effective from December 07, 2023, the cost of registering and renewing a two-year medical cannabis card will drop from $50 to just $10, while a new digital registration programme is set to be introduced early next year in an effort to improve access to the programme.

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