December 20, 2018 | Number of The Day
New businesses in line for permits to grow medical marijuana, open dispensaries in NJ

Six businesses have been OK’d by New Jersey’s Department of Health to apply for permits to open new medical marijuana dispensaries — two each for the northern, central, and southern parts of the state. Six dispensaries — or Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs), as they are formally known — are already in operation here.

The winners were chosen from 146 applications and, said Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal, the six were “very strong applicants… including minority-owned and women-owned businesses.” The successful applications were by NETA NJ, Phillipsburg and GTI New Jersey, LLC, Paterson in the north; Verano NJ LLC, Elizabeth (dispensary), Rahway (cultivation site) and Justice Grown, Ewing for central New Jersey; MPX New Jersey, Atlantic City (dispensary), Galloway (cultivation), and Columbia Care New Jersey, Vineland in the south.

Now they’ve made it this far, they’ll have to go through a stringent process, including background checks, proof of a dispensary location and municipal approval, as well as compliance with Division of Medical Marijuana regulations on safety, security, etc. That will all begin in the new year, Elnahal said, when officials will meet with the six “to refine their timetable for growing product and opening their doors.”

It’s all part of the Murphy administration’s expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program, which now has 38,000 participating patients, an increase of more than 20,000 since Gov. Phil Murphy took office.