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TRENTON - To improve patient access to New Jersey’s medical marijuana dispensaries during the state’s COVID-19 response, the New Jersey Department of Health today issued waivers to assist Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) and caregivers.

According to a release, the waivers allow ATCs to serve patients curbside in their vehicles and reduce all caregiver registration fees to $20.

Previously, all dispensing had to occur within an ATC and the registration fee for caregivers was $100, unless caregivers qualified for the standard reduced fee.

The waivers also remove the requirement for ATCs to conduct in-person consultations for new patients, unless requested. Consultations can be done over the phone instead of in-person.

“Our actions today will ensure that over 73,000 patients continue to have access to the products they need to treat their conditions, while also helping to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli stated. “By reducing caregiver registration fees and allowing curbside dispensing, the department is protecting patients during this public health crisis, increasing access to caregivers who can assist patients, and empowering ATCs to enact social distancing policies while maintaining their role as essential businesses.”

ATCs will be responsible for submitting curbside dispensing procedures to the Department and notifying their local municipal governments and police departments prior to implementing any changes.

The reduced fee for caregivers went into effect immediately. Thanks to changes in Jake Honig’s Law, signed by Governor Murphy last summer, patients can now have up to two caregivers to help them access dispensaries.