What to Know
- New Jersey announced Monday that six new businesses were selected to apply for permits to grow and sell medical marijuana
- Two applicants were chosen for the northern, two for the central and two for the southern parts of the state
- They must still pass background checks, provide evidence of dispensary location, receive municipal approval before receiving state approval
New Jersey is one step closer to doubling the number of medical marijuana dispensaries, after announcing Monday that six new businesses were selected to apply for permits to grow and sell medical marijuana.
Two applicants were chosen for the northern, two for the central and two for the southern parts of the state, in an attempt for patients to have better access to medical marijuana, according to the state’s Department of Health.
“Six very strong applicants were selected, including minority-owned and women-owned businesses,” Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said. “We will meet with them early next year to refine their timetable for growing product and opening their doors. We are committed to an equitable expansion of supply to meet growing patient demand, and these new locations will reach patients that currently have to travel longer distances to obtain the therapy.”
While the businesses have been selected, they must still pass background checks, provide evidence of a dispensary location and receive municipal approval, as well as comply with all the regulations under the Division of Medical Marijuana, before receiving the state approval to grow and sell medical marijuana.
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In March, Gov. Phil Murphy announced a medical marijuana program overhaul in the state, which included a long list of reforms such as lowering fees for patients and caregivers, adding five approved medical conditions (anxiety, migraines, two forms of chronic pain and Tourette’s Syndrome), allowing and proposing legislation to increase monthly product limit for patients. Patients receiving hospice care would also be eligible for an unlimited supply of cannabis.
Months later, in July, Murphy announced that he was seeking to double the number of dispensaries from six to 12 in an effort to expand access to medical marijuana. The state received 146 applications for the six slots.
Currently, there are six dispensaries operating in the state. These six were not eligible to participate in the application process for the additional slots.
The latest expansion comes at a time when the state is considering legalizing recreational marijuana.
The six business chosen are:
- NETA NJ, LLC – Phillipsburg
- GTI New Jersey, LLC – Paterson
- Verano NJ LLC – Elizabeth (for the dispensary site) and Rahway (for the cultivation site)
- Justice Grown – Ewing
- MPX New Jersey – Atlantic City (for the dispensary site) and Galloway (for the cultivation site)
- Columbia Care New Jersey – Vineland
There are currently 38,000 patients participating in the state’s medical marijuana program, an expansion of more than 20,000 patients since Governor Phil Murphy took office. Additionally, 1,530 caregivers participating in the program.