The New Jersey Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program announced on Monday that it was seeking applications to license up to 108 additional Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs). More specifically, the Department intends to license up to 24 cultivators, 30 manufacturers, and 54 dispensaries. The cultivator licenses will be divided into three different size categories: 5,000 square feet, 20,000 square feet, and 30,000 square feet. The purpose of sub-dividing the cultivation licenses by size is to create opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses to participate in the medical marijuana program. The locations of the ATCs will also be divided by geographic region.
The eleventh most populous state in the country has only six operational ATCs to serve its nearly nine million residents. But there will likely be a handful of new ATCs opening soon, as the state authorized six businesses to apply for licensure in a 2018 request for application (“RFA”). Foley Hoag assisted the winner of that RFA with the application that scored the highest of all 146 applicants.
“We are at a point where patients just cannot wait any longer for easily accessible, affordable therapy,” said New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal. Indeed, the number of enrollees in the state’s medical marijuana program has swelled to over 47,500 in response to 2018 and 2019 additions to the list of qualifying medical conditions, including Opioid Use Disorder.