State doubles number of medical marijuana dispensaries, granting six new licenses

New Jersey has officially granted six new medical marijuana licenses, doubling the state’s capacity for dispensaries.

The Department of Health announced the new licenses Monday, which include two new dispensaries each in the north, central and southern regions of the state.

They include:

  • Columbia Care New Jersey, Vineland;
  • GTI New Jersey LLC, Paterson;
  • Justice Grown, Ewing;
  • MPX New Jersey, Atlantic City (dispensary) and Galloway (cultivation);
  • NETA NJ LLC, Phillipsburg;
  • Verano NJ LLC, Elizabeth (dispensary) and Rahway (cultivation site).

The medical marijuana program has been growing under the new administration, with the support of Gov. Phil Murphy; the DOH, led by Commissioner Shereef Elnahal, has been aggressively pitching the use of medical marijuana to medical professionals.

That includes a lecture series at various health systems, which has led to greater adoption of use.

There are now 38,000 patients in the program statewide, which is an increase of 20,000 since the start of the year. There are now also 860 total physicians participating and 1,530 caregivers, according to the DOH.

“Six very strong applicants were selected, including minority-owned and women-owned businesses,” Elnahal said in a statement. “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.”

As part of the application process, applicants were required to identify the region of the state where they would operate an Alternative Treatment Center. There were 50 applicants for the northern region, 45 in the central region and 51 in the southern region.

Monday’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 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.

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.