NJ Officials Call for Big Increase in Medical-Marijuana Dispensaries

A distinguished pharmaceutical executive, John Klein serves as the chairman of Cambridge Therapeutics in Teaneck, New Jersey. Also the former CEO of Cambridge Therapeutics, John Klein keeps up with healthcare industry news in his state.

In April 2019, New Jersey health officials released a statement recommending a large increase in the number of medical-marijuana dispensaries to meet the state’s rapidly-expanding demand. Currently, New Jersey has only six dispensaries, called Alternative Treatment Centers, but health officials estimate the state will need to grow its capacity to 50 to 90 dispensaries over three years to keep pace with the rising number of people using medicinal marijuana.

With approximately 100 new medical-marijuana patients per day, the mounting demand is partly driven by Governor Phil Murphy’s recent move to approve new conditions for treatment with medical marijuana, including chronic pain, end-stage cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, and opioid use disorder. The number of physicians prescribing through the state’s medicinal-marijuana program also has grown by about 40 percent since January 2018, when Governor Murphy took office.

New Jersey Strengthens Behavioral Health Partnerships

Drawing on his extensive background in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, John Klein serves as the chairman of Cambridge Therapeutics. Aside from providing strategic direction to Cambridge Therapeutics, John Klein serves as a trustee for New Jersey’s Hackensack Meridian Health network.

New Jersey officials recently have undertaken several initiatives to improve mental health care in the state. For instance, Hackensack Meridian Health, a network of 16 hospitals and hundreds of outpatient physician offices, has formed a new partnership with Carrier Clinic, a long-standing addiction-treatment agency, to provide integrated behavioral healthcare for its patients.

In addition, the state is working to make it easier for children with emotional and behavioral issues to receive appropriate health care. New Jersey has developed nine regional hospital-based programs that connect pediatricians with behavioral-health providers for advice on diagnoses and treatment. With new funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and The Nicholson Foundation, the state plans to invest an additional $2.3 million into programs that integrate pediatric behavioral health.