1,500 people join NJ medical marijuana program since expansion

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey has added 1,500 people to its medical marijuana program in the last month.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy announced the addition on Tuesday. The figure includes 1,000 new patients who have one of five new eligible medical conditions that the first-term governor added in March.

The program now serves 20,000 patients overall.

Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal says the changes show there was "pent up demand."

Murphy expanded the program in March. The newly covered conditions are anxiety, migraines, Tourette's syndrome, chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders and chronic visceral pain.

Murphy also says a treatment center in Bellmawr has been approved to expand and five requests are pending from three other centers to open satellite locations.

Murphy also supports legalizing recreational marijuana but legislation has not yet advanced.