Six more businesses were awarded licenses by the New Jersey Department of Health last week, effectively doubling in size with 12 medical marijuana programs in the state. 146 applications were submitted to fill the six open slots that Gov. Phil Murphy called for back in July.
The following is a list of the six new medical marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey:
- Columbia Care (Vineland)
- GTI New Jersey, LLC (Paterson)
- Justice Grown (Ewing)
- MPX New Jersey (Galloway for cultivation and Atlantic City for retail)
- NETA NJ, LLC (Phillipsburg)
- Verano NJ, LLC (Rahway for cultivation and Elizabeth for retail)
Before the Health Department provides final approval, the businesses must pass background checks, obtain municipal approval for the location, and comply with all Division of Medical Marijuana regulations. Once they are finally approved, these six dispensaries will join facilities in Bellmawr, Cranbury, Egg Harbor, Montclair, Secaucus, Township and Woodbridge.
Just like their predecessors, these new businesses will cultivate, process, and sell medicinal cannabis. The Health Department will meet with them early next year to determine a timeframe for cultivation and making their dispensaries available to patients.
The expansion was made to address the increase of over 20,000 medical cannabis patients in 2018—which is almost 40,000 patients in total. The rise in patients resulted from the program allowing those suffering common conditions (i.e. chronic pain, anxiety, etc.) to receive medical marijuana, as well as reducing some of the obstacles doctors must overcome to recommend cannabis to patients.
However, the significant increase of patients has resulted in multiple complaints—from shortages of certain cannabis strains to longer lines at dispensaries. The state is hoping that these new businesses will resolve some of those issues.
New Jersey’s medical marijuana program is expected to experience further growth in 2019. Earlier this summer, the Health Department proposed new rules this past summer which would allow the agency to issue growing, processing, or distribution licenses to medical marijuana providers, instead of requiring them to do all three. Assistant Health Commissioner Jeff Brown anticipates the rules will be enacted early next year, resulting in more medical cannabis licenses being issued in the near future.
Contact New Jersey Alternative Medicine for more information about medical marijuana in the state.