State gets 146 applications for new medical marijuana dispensaries

The New Jersey Department of Health received 146 applications from 106 organizations to operate medical marijuana dispensaries in the state by Friday’s deadline, Gov. Phil Murphy announced this week.

Applicants had to identify which region of the state they hoped to operate their Alternative Treatment Center: 50 applications came from the north, 45 in the central part of the state and 51 in the southern area, the Governor’s Office said in a news release Wednesday.

“By expanding Alternative Treatment Center locations in New Jersey, we are putting patients first and ensuring more convenient access to medical marijuana,” Murphy said in a prepared statement. “This is another step forward in removing barriers put in place by the previous administration and creating a more consumer-friendly program.”

The Department of Health asked for six new applicants for the dispensaries. The completed applications will be evaluated by a selection committee, and those chosen to proceed in permitting will be notified at the appropriate time.

The six current ATCs were not eligible for this application process because they are able to add additional sites already.

“Program participation has surpassed 30,000 individuals as a result of reforms already made, and we expect that number to keep growing,” Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said in a statement. “We need more Alternative Treatment Centers to keep pace with the demand for a therapy that has been unjustly restricted for so long.”

Successful applicants would be required to operate a dispensary, cultivating and manufacturing facilities. The business could be either for-profit or nonprofit.

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