With patient numbers surging and supply problems escalating in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration is expected to call for six more medical cannabis providers to serve the state.
That would bring the total number of medical marijuana companies in the state to 12. State regulations mandate that MMJ businesses be vertically integrated.
The Department of Health told NJ.com that the program is adding roughly 500 patients each week and now has more than 25,000 patients, up from about 16,000 at the end of 2017. The influx reflect the program adding new conditions earlier this year, including chronic pain.
The state’s health commissioner predicted in May that patient numbers could hit 50,000.
New Jersey’s MMJ regulations divide the state into northern, central and southern regions, with each currently home to two providers.
The regions will each get two of the new dispensaries, NJ.com reported.
Murphy is expected to issue an executive order for the MMJ businesses after the state’s Legislature failed to pass a bill that would have expanded the program to roughly 100 dispensaries.
Dara Servis, executive director of the New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association, welcomed the expansion but suggested to NJ.com that even more providers will soon be needed.