Medical marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey are still struggling to produce edibles and other cannabis-infused products due to the state’s small patient size and stiff regulations.
Bill Thomas, owner of the Compassionate Care Foundation in Egg Harbor, submitted plans in February to make cannabis capsules and lotions, which he hoped to begin selling this summer.
Thomas told the Philadelphia Enquirer that he has scrapped the idea entirely since his business has just 250 regular patients.
Michael Weisser, owner of the Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge, purchased an extraction machine to produce edibles earlier this year. Weisser said state health officials observed a demonstration of his manufacturing process last month, but they have yet to approve his operation.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reluctantly agreed to allow medical marijuana edibles nearly a year ago, however the products can only be used by patients under the age of 18 who have the approval of a doctor and a psychiatrist.
Minors make up a small percentage of New Jersey’s patient base, which has only 2,200 total patients. The small patient size creates little economic incentive for operators to produce edibles.
Thomas said he is so discouraged he is telling dispensary operators who have yet to open to table their businesses plans entirely. Thomas predicted he would have 5,000 total patients, but so far only 600 have registered with his business.