On December 17th, medical marijuana users in New Jersey were gifted an early Christmas present when the Department of Health announced its plans to add six new dispensary locations throughout the state. This move has doubled the state’s medical marijuana program.
The Need for more Dispensaries
Currently, the state of New Jersey only has six fully functional marijuana dispensaries that serve patients. Over the past several months, marijuana advocates have been discouraged by a serious shortage of marijuana supply that has resulted in several patients going without their needed medication for months. Earlier in the year, the state’s Governor, Phil Murphy, publicly called for an expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program. As part of his fulfillment of this call to action, six new dispensaries will be launched.
Where Will the Dispensaries be?
Amazingly, the Health Department received an overwhelming 146 applications from various individuals hoping to open a dispensary. The department initially set a target date in November to choose the six top contenders, but the vast amount of paperwork pushed the decision back to December. Shereef Elnahal, the Health Commissioner, commented on the final decision. He explained, “six very strong applicants were selected, including minority-owned and women-owned businesses.”
The six new dispensaries are expected to be:
• GTI New Jersey, LLC in Paterson
• NETA NJ, LLC in Phillipsburg
• Verano NJ, LLC in Elizabeth
• Justice Grown in Ewing
• MPX New Jersey in Atlantic City
• Columbia Care New Jersey in Vineland
The Next Steps
While these six applicants have already been chosen, they won’t be permitted to grow medical marijuana or open the dispensaries until they first submit to a background check and comply with all of the Health Department’s regulations. The doubling of the marijuana dispensaries is important because the state’s medical marijuana patients have also doubled over the past year from 20,000 to 40,000.
In addition to these important changes, the legislature is also debating over an even greater medical marijuana expansion bill. This newest legislation proposes to allow patients to purchase a greater amount at one time, and it also extends the ability for doctors to prescribe the medication for a wider range of issues. Legislators are expected to vote on the crucial bill sometime early next year.
Contact an Experienced Evesham Township Drug Defense Attorney About Your Marijuana Drug Crime Charges in New Jersey
While the laws surrounding marijuana legalization are changing, being in possession of illegal drugs can come with heavy fines, jail time and driver’s license suspension. That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified drug defense lawyer about your case. Drug defense lawyer, Michele Finizio of The Law Offices of Michele Finizio represent clients charged with use, possession, production, distribution, and related drug offenses in Burlington Township, Moorestown, Camden, Cherry Hill, and throughout New Jersey. Call 856-599-5519 or fill out our confidential online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office located at 9 E. Main Street, Moorestown, NJ 08057.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.