The New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) today announced that six businesses have been selected to apply for permits to open new medical marijuana dispensaries. Two applicants were chosen for the north, central and southern parts of the state, ensuring patients have better access to pain-relieving medicine.
Before receiving approval to grow medical marijuana, the chosen applicants now must pass background checks, provide evidence of a dispensary location and municipal approval, and comply with all regulations under the Division of Medical Marijuana, including safety and security requirements.
DOH will make all 146 applications available for public review on our webpage next year. The winning applications will be posted first.
“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.”
The 146 applications were reviewed by a six-person committee consisting of four DOH representatives and one each from the Departments of Agriculture and Treasury. Their expertise included medical marijuana, ATC regulation, lab testing, plant science, diversity and procurement. Prior to scoring the applications, committee members received implicit bias training from the state’s Chief Diversity Officer to ensure an impartial selection process.
This was an objective, data-driven selection process. The committee scored the applications and then DOH chose the top scorers in each region. Some applicants applied for more than one region but the Department only allowed an applicant to be chosen for one region.
1. NETA NJ, LLC – Phillipsburg
2. GTI New Jersey, LLC – Paterson
1. Verano NJ LLC – Elizabeth (Dispensary), Rahway (Cultivation Site)
2. Justice Grown – Ewing
1. MPX New Jersey – Atlantic City (Dispensary), Galloway (Cultivation)
2. Columbia Care New Jersey – Vineland
As part of the application process, applicants were required to identify the region of the state where they would operate an Alternative Treatment Center (ATC). There were 50 applicants for the northern region, 45 in the central region and 51 in the southern region.
Today’s announcement is part of a series of program reforms including the addition of five new medical conditions (anxiety, migraines, two forms of chronic pain and Tourette’s Syndrome), allowing ATCs to post prices, and shortening the review time of patient information for ID cards to between one and two days, down from 28 six months ago. The program also added mobile access to the patient registry.
There are now 38,000 patients participating, an expansion of more than 20,000 patients since Governor Phil Murphy took office. In addition, there are 1,530 caregivers participating in the program. More than 350 physicians have been added to the program — for a total of 860 — including 200 who have joined since Commissioner Elnahal began a series of lectures among the medical community in hospitals and teaching schools to encourage them to consider marijuana as another appropriate treatment for patients with many medical conditions, especially diseases for which conventional therapies aren’t working. More than 2,000 physicians, students and other clinicians attended the lectures, which were held at Hackensack University Medical Center, St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Virtua Health and Hunterdon Medical Center.
Visit the Department’s Medicinal Marijuana webpage for more information.