How to Obtain a Medical Marijuana License in NJ
The State of New Jersey legalized medical cannabis in 2010. The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (MMP) authorizes approved physicians to disburse up to two ounces of medical marijuana to a registered patient during any 30-day period to treat numerous “debilitating medical conditions,” particularly where conventional treatments are ineffective or exacerbate a patient’s suffering.
Licensing Requirements Under the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act
Alternative treatment centers (ATCs) must be licensed to dispense medical marijuana in New Jersey. At this time, the state is not currently accepting new applications.
Pursuant to Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, at least two ATCs must be licensed in the northern, central, and southern regions of the State. The statute mandates that the first two centers issued a permit in each region must be nonprofit entities; however, ATCs subsequently issued permits may be nonprofit or for-profit entities.
The implementation of New Jersey’s medical cannabis law has been slow, in large part due to the burdensome requirements placed on ATCs seeking to obtain a medical marijuana license. The New Jersey Department of Health requires that entities seeking to obtain a medical marijuana dispensary license in New Jersey have a comprehensive business plan. In addition to traditional financial information, applicants must provide details regarding how they plan to track patient data, maintain security at the dispensary, and address the other unique concerns involved with dispensing marijuana. The specific documents that must be submitted include corporate governance documents, financial statements and tax returns.
Applicants must also submit Personal Disclosure Forms, which require the provision of detailed employment, educational, family, and other personal information. Each ATC applicant must also undergo fingerprinting and submit to a criminal history record background check. The requirements apply to all owners, directors, officers, and employees.
New Jersey’s sixth ATC recently got the green light to begin growing medical marijuana. This is good news for the entire legal cannabis industry in New Jersey. According to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH): “Once the initial six are open, the state will evaluate the program and determine whether or not there is a need for expansion.” If there is a determination to add ATCs, the NJDOH must publicize the expansion and provide the criteria and process for application.
Licensing for Recreational Cannabis Sales in New Jersey
Legal recreational cannabis is likely also on the horizon in New Jersey. Sen. Nicolas Scutari recently reintroduced legislation (Senate Bill 830) to legalize the possession and personal use of small amounts of cannabis for individuals age 21 and over. Individuals would be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis, 16 ounces of infused solid products, or 72 ounces in liquid form.
Under the current version of the legislation, existing medical marijuana facilities have an advantage. It provides that a medical marijuana facility operating in good standing at the time the new law becomes effective can apply for a retail license to operate immediately.
If you have any questions or if you would like to further discuss the effort to legalize cannabis in New Jersey, please contact me, Dan McKillop, at 201-806-3364. Additionally, for more information regarding cannabis law, I encourage readers to check out Scarinci Hollenbeck’s extensive coverage of the matter here.
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