NJ medical cannabis program delayed by glut of dispensary applications

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New Jersey’s medical marijuana program regulators won’t make the Nov. 1 deadline to announce the winners of six additional dispensary licenses.

Demand for medical marijuana in the Garden State spurred New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in July to call for doubling the number of dispensaries, from six to 12.

But the state has been flooded with almost 150 applications and reported it needs more time for selection.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Had the regulators made the Nov. 1 deadline, MMJ retailers wouldn’t have been able to offer products until spring 2019, and now it will likely be later.
  • New Jersey’s MMJ market continues to grow as doctors are able to recommend medical cannabis for an expanding list of conditions. Proposed legislation would make it easier for state regulators to add to that list.
  • Around 33,000 patients are enrolled in the state’s swelling medical marijuana program – about double from January.
  • The state is allowing dispensary owners to open satellite locations to keep up with the growing demand.
  • The six additional dispensaries will follow the same business structures as the existing half dozen – vertically integrated and spread throughout the state.
  • Regulations are pending that would allow the state to issue separate cultivation, processing and retail licenses.