Despite having such a hard time moving forward with legalizing recreational cannabis, today the state announced the approval of six more medical marijuana dispensaries.
This move has doubled the size of the program and couldn't have come sooner! The second half of 2018 has been rough for medical marijuana patients in New Jersey, who have been hit with product shortages and lots of red tape which has significantly slowed down progress of the medical program.
According to a report by NJ.com, the following six locations will be open for business:
NETA NJ, LLC. - Phillipsburg, NJ
GTI New Jersey, LLC. - Paterson, NJ
Verano NJ, LLC - Rahway, NJ (grow), Elizabeth, NJ (dispensary)
Justice Grown - Ewing, NJ
MPX New Jersey - Galloway (cultivation), Atlantic City (dispensary)
Columbia Care New Jersey - Vineland
These 6 businesses were chosen out of a staggering 146 that applied during the august application period. Each business will still need further approval from the Department of Health before their status is finalized.
Included in the steps for final approval are background checks, approval from the municipality the business plans to operate in, as well as full compliance with all regulations adopted by the medical program in New Jersey.
"Six very strong applicants were selected, including minority-owned and women-owned businesses," Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal said. "We will meet with them early next year to refine their timetable for growing product and opening their doors."
Elnahal continues "We are committed to an equitable expansion of supply to meet growing patient demand, and these new locations will reach patients that currently have to travel longer distances to obtain their therapy."
Hopefully, this is just the beginning for New Jersey. With a program that has added more than 20,000 new patients in the last year, it is imperative that a reliable supply chain be established. The question on a lot of people's minds, will Governor Phil Murphy make good on one of his biggest campaign promises by legalizing marijuana for adult use in the state?