The decade-old medical marijuana program is all set to get better as the state’s Department of Health has begun accepting applications from individuals and companies interested in opening cultivation and operational facilities.
NJ is reportedly looking to open 24 Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs):
- 8 in the Northern region
- 8 in the central
- 7 in the southern
- 1 additional facility in a not-yet-specified region
Furthermore, the department intends to grant licenses for an additional 15 dispensaries, 5 cultivation centers and 4 vertically integrated facilities (cultivation, manufacturing and dispensary as a single unit). Reportedly, the applications which were made available on Monday are due for submission by August 22. The application fee has been set at $20,000, out of which $18,000 will be refunded to failed applicants.
The Philadelphia Inquirer states that in order to apply, all applicants are required to “demonstrate experience in cultivating, manufacturing or retailing cannabis and providing quality control.” In addition, the applicants must submit an environmental impact statement and a security plan.
The measures form part of an ambitious effort by Governor Phil Murphy to dramatically expand access to the state’s medical marijuana program.
As stated earlier, medical marijuana has been legal in New Jersey since 2010, when former Governor Jon Corzine signed the measure into law on his final day in office. However, it was only under Murphy that the state made serious efforts to improve and expand the program.
Earlier this month, Governor Murphy signed ‘Jake’s Law‘ — named after 7-year-old Jake Honig who lost his life to brain cancer last year — which increased the monthly limit from 2 ounces to 3 ounces for terminally ill patients.
However, an effort to legalize adult-use marijuana collapsed in the state’s legislature earlier this year. The good news though is that Murphy is not yet ready to give up.