Court ruling paves way for New Jersey to expand medical cannabis market

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A New Jersey appellate court lifted a 2019 order preventing the state from issuing an additional 24 medical cannabis licenses.

The decision could allow for expansion of the medical marijuana industry in the state, perhaps before the launch, potentially later this year, of an adult-use market.

Industry officials say New Jersey’s existing MMJ market isn’t sufficient to meet demand.

“The ruling today is a step in the right direction for the state of New Jersey to not only meet the demands of existing patients but to eventually increase supply to meet the demand of the adult-use market,” New Jersey cannabis attorney Rob DiPisa of Cole Schotz wrote in an email to Marijuana Business Daily.

The ruling came in conjunction with the Appellate Division of the Superior Court in Trenton rejecting the appeals of seven unsuccessful MMJ dispensary applicants from the 2019 expansion round, according to the Asbury Park Press.

A state health department spokesperson declined to comment to the Neptune-based publication about the ruling.

New Jersey has issued only 12 vertically integrated medical marijuana licenses to date, and only 10 are operational, according to the state’s website.

In 2019, state regulators requested applications for 24 new licenses: four vertically integrated, five stand-alone cultivation facilities and 15 dispensaries.

But a court halted the review of those applications after a lawsuit alleged the system had technical glitches.

Regulators said they investigated the issue and determined there was no problem with the system.