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New Jersey expands its medical marijuana program

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SAYREVILLE -

Gov. Phil Murphy has announced an expansion of the state's medical marijuana program.

The governor unveiled the expansion Tuesday in Sayreville. It came the same day that a panel he established published its recommendations.

MORE: Gov. Phil Murphy details medical marijuana expansion

“We will have a medical marijuana program that is compassionate, that is progressive and that at long last meets the needs of patients,” Murphy said.

The expanded program promises to focus on three main areas for medical marijuana use: Expanding the conditions covered under the program, removing the stigma attached to the use and prescription of medical marijuana and expanding the number of facilities that harvest, manufacture and distribute the substance.

“To you and to all who have struggled through the bureaucratic nonsense thrown at you for too long help is finally on the way,” the governor said.

New conditions covered under the program include: anxiety, migraines, Tourette's syndrome, chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders and chronic visceral pain.

The patient fee will also be reduced from $200 to $100, with a $20 rate for veterans and seniors.

“We recognize that patients should be treated as patients, not criminals,” Murphy said. “Sadly we backed away from this promise after we made it.”

The announcement comes as Murphy pushes for legalized recreational marijuana in New Jersey.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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