Chart: New Jersey medical cannabis patients to triple by 2022, requiring at least 15 more cultivation sites

(This story has been updated to reflect that the additional need is for cultivation sites, not necessarily cultivators, as sites may be operated by existing growers.)

New Jersey’s medical marijuana market will need at least 15 additional cannabis cultivation sites in the next three years – even under a conservative growth scenario, according to information provided by the state’s MMJ regulatory agency.

The New Jersey Department of Health’s Division of Medicinal Marijuana (DMM) submitted its biennial report to the state Legislature in early April, assessing supply and demand for medical marijuana.

In addition to the need for additional grow sites, DMM found average retail prices to be prohibitive to patients whose treatment plan requires greater volumes of marijuana.

For example, a patient purchasing 1 ounce per month – half the maximum allowed – would pay nearly $6,000 out of pocket over the course of a year.

By comparison, based on recent prices, 1 ounce per month would cost an Oregon patient $2,820 and an Illinois patient $4,500.

To determine future levels of supply and demand, DMM assessed two patient-growth scenarios:

  • Maintaining current growth rates – or status quo.
  • Increasing growth rates over time by applying patient-driven recommendations from Gov. Phil Murphy’s so-called Executive Order No. 6.

The governor’s order directed the health department to review the state’s medical marijuana program and develop ways to expand patient access to MMJ.

Under the order’s conservative status quo scenario, by January 2022, New Jersey would have 127,000 patients – more than three times the 40,000 patients in the program as of January 2019 – requiring 438,000 square feet of cultivation space and 15-25 additional cultivation sites (depending on cultivation area).

Under the scenario with expanded patient access, by 2022, New Jersey would have 197,000 patients requiring more than 1 million square feet in cultivation space. At least 34-58 additional cultivation sites would be needed to meet this level of demand.

Here’s what else you need to know about the situation:

  • Dispensary revenues in New Jersey nearly doubled between 2017 and 2018, from $29 million to $53 million.
  • Although six dispensaries currently are in the licensing process, the report determined the state will need even more retail outlets to meet demand, particularly those offering nonsmokable products.
  • The report does not address impacts to the medical marijuana program if adult use is legalized in New Jersey.

Maggie Cowee can be reached at [email protected]

2 comments on “Chart: New Jersey medical cannabis patients to triple by 2022, requiring at least 15 more cultivation sites
  1. Gregg Harris on

    If a patient has to pay $6000 per year out of pocket that is going to leave a lot of people who need Cannabis out. What percentage of people in NJ that are in pain for an example, can afford to pay that $6000 per year if they are on a fixed income. I feel the insurance or the government, Medicare, medicate or cover some of the cost.

    • Walter Anderson on

      I agree the price should be drop down drastically we pay the highest prices in the United States for medical marijuana being on disability I cannot afford it I have to have family and friends to help purchase I was hit by a drunk driver in 2005 been opioid pain medicine for the last 15 years the insurance companies will continue to pay for opioids but they will not pay for medical marijuana is a disgrace I was on Xanax for 20 years and with the help of the medical marijuana program for the last five years I’ve been able to get off the Xanax by using medical marijuana I would like to do that with the opioids that I’m being prescribed cannot afford the risk of going off and not been able to get enough cannabis to take care of that intense high doses of cannabis for a year to completely get off opioids this is a disgrace what is going on If Cannabis was legal for last 80 years we would not have half the drug problems we have in this country as far as Meth Heroin and alcohol Xanax and Valium cocaine and all the other illicit drugs if marijuana was legal for the last 80 years I look forward to great change in the state so people like myself can have assistance in getting the quality healthy medicine of cannabis instead of using the horrible narcotics

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