On June 3rd, the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) announced will be seeking applicants for 108 additional medical marijuana licenses across the state. License applications will be available online July 1st and must be submitted by August 15th.

The expansion of medical cannabis facilities intends to accommodate the 30,000 new patients now qualified for medical marijuana under Opioid Use Disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, migraine, anxiety, and chronic pain conditions. New Jersey now has more than 47,000 medical marijuana patients, an exponential increase from the 17,000 patients in 2018.

The licenses for medical cannabis centers will be distributed throughout the state based on the needs and population of each region: up to 38 in northern NJ, up to 38 in the central region, and up to 32 will be in the southern region.

NJ currently has 12 licensed facilities, only half of which are in operation. All current licenses are for vertically-integrated centers, meaning the cannabis is grown, processed, and sold in-house. The NJ DOH will now diversify the industry by issuing separate licenses for growers, processors, and retailers.

The 108 new licenses will be split into three different types of endorsements:

  • 54 dispensary endorsements
  • 24 cultivation endorsements
  • 30 manufacturing endorsements

To allow small and medium-sized businesses to participate in the program, cultivation endorsements will be available in three sizes: 5,000 square feet, 20,000 square feet, and 30,000 square feet. Another big opportunity for smaller businesses is retail, since they will no longer have to grow and process it themselves.

On July 1st, application forms for permits will be available at www.nj.gov/health/medicalmarijuana. The date for announcing the awards will be determined based on application volume.

The billion-dollar medical marijuana industry offers un-matched economic opportunities. As New Jersey greatly expands its existing legal medical marijuana program and looks to pave the way for adult use legalization, Stark & Stark’s Cannabis Legal Services practice group serves the specialized needs of individuals, professionals, businesses, and partnerships entering or participating in the burgeoning cannabis industries. Contact us for help applying for a license and strategic guidance on all related legal matters.