30 more medical marijuana dispensaries en route to New Jersey

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New Jersey regulators on Tuesday approved 30 new licenses for companies that will sell medical marijuana, more than doubling the number of retail outlets for a growing number of patients who have complained for years about the drugs. long journeys to obtain legal cannabis.

The Cannabis Regulatory Commission voted to issue provisional licenses to 30 companies, 10 each in the central, northern and southern regions of the state.

Tuesday night’s announcement is essentially the second part of the long-awaited expansion of the medical marijuana program, first offered in 2019 but delayed by legal challenges.

In October, the commission granted permits to 14 growers who had applied for licenses in 2019. In recognition of the stifled growth and program delays, the commission’s executive director, Jeff Brown, recommended doubling the number of growers. .

On Tuesday evening, Brown again recommended issuing 30 licenses instead of the 15 dispensaries the state announced two years ago.

There is now 23 dispensaries serving an average of 5,300 patients per retail site. Patients have long complained that the small-scale program forces them to drive for hours, only to find that their favorite cannabis strain is gone.

There are around 5,000 patients signing up each month – a pace that has not slowed down even with the prospect of a legal market for adult users opening in 2022, Brown said.

What troubles him is that about 2,000 to 2,700 patients are leaving the program. “The price of cannabis is still high and the number of patients per dispensary is still high,” Brown said.

“We have the ability to bring this program online,” he said.

Even with the doubling of dispensary allotment requests, New Jersey still lags behind, according to a commission analysis. Using the guide that clinics are expected to serve around 2,000 people, the state is expected to have 61 now and 77 by October 2022, if enrollments keep pace.

More competition should lower prices, the commission said. An ounce of cannabis in state-regulated dispensaries costs $ 320 to $ 480, according to the analysis.

Licensing is the first step in the process. License holders must pass financial and criminal background checks and obtain commission site approval before they can open.

The candidates selected for the center of Jersey (municipality not listed):

  • Middle Valley Partners LLC;
  • Monmouth Welfare and Healing LLC;
  • McGraw Holdings New Jersey, Inc;
  • Monteverde NJ LLC;
  • Silver Leaf Welfare LLC;
  • Garden State Botanicals;
  • Medicines from the sanctuary;
  • NJ LLC Wellness Theory
  • Woah Flow.

The candidates chosen for the north of Jersey are:

  • NJ Community Well-being;
  • GR Vending NJ LLC;
  • Yuma Way NJ LLC;
  • Terrapin;
  • Holdings by the sea;
  • 11th cannabis colony;
  • PharmaCanna LLC of New Jersey;
  • 1st choice for health and well-being;
  • Nature’s Touch Med NJ LLC;
  • NJ Patients Care LLC.

The successful candidates for the south of Jersey:

  • Law Firms of Juliana Diaz LLC;
  • Eastern Green Inc (doing business as Starbuds)
  • Design 710;
  • NJ Kindness LLC;
  • Restore NJ LLC;
  • NJ Organic Remedies, LLC;
  • Honeygrove Corp;
  • Circe Therapeutics LLC;
  • Center of Compassion for Life LLC dispensary;
  • Holistic solutions;

The committee voted 4-0 to approve the prices, with Commissioner Charles Barker abstaining. As he did in other meetings when he broke with the rest of the committee, Barker did not explain why he withheld his vote.

These are just licenses for the medical marijuana businesses, but if they wish, they will have a head start in expanding their customer base to adults 21 and over once the legal market opens. in 2022.

Even though voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2020 to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana, a bill describing the legitimate market did not reach Gov. Phil Murphy’s office until February. The commission did not introduce the first set of regulations needed to run the until August.

The commission will begin accepting applications for the adult market from growers, manufacturers and testing labs for the recreational market on December 15 and dispensaries on March 15.

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Susan K. Livio can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on twitter @SusanKLivio.

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