On Monday, New Jersey’s Division of Well being introduced plans to simply accept functions for people and entities fascinated with opening operational and cultivation amenities. The company stated that it’s searching for candidates to function as many as 24 Different Therapy Facilities, with the goal to position eight within the northern a part of the state, eight within the central area and 7 within the south. A further facility will likely be positioned in a yet-to-be-determined area, the division stated. 

Furthermore, the division stated it intends to grant licenses for a further 15 dispensaries, 5 cultivation facilities and 4 “vertically built-in permits,” which might contain a mixture of cultivation, manufacturing and dispensary. The functions, which had been made obtainable on Monday, are due on August 22; it prices $20,000 to use, although failed candidates will obtain a reimbursement of $18,000. 

All candidates “should submit a safety plan and an environmental impression assertion,” and exhibit “expertise in cultivating, manufacturing or retailing marijuana and supply high quality management and assurance plans,” based on the Philadelphia Inquirer. 

The allow growth was put in movement earlier this month when New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, signed a invoice to grant a further 24 licenses. It’s a part of an ongoing effort by Murphy to dramatically develop entry to medical marijuana within the state. 

Medical cannabis has been authorized in New Jersey since early 2010, when outgoing Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine signed the measure into regulation on his last day in workplace. However for years, this system suffered from low enrollment because of the regulation’s strict necessities. Former Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who succeeded Corzine, was a vocal opponent to medical marijuana, calling it a “entrance for legalization.” 

“What there’s an enormous demand for is marijuana. Not medical marijuana,” Christie stated in the summertime of 2014. “As a result of once we run a medically based mostly program, you don’t see the demand.”

However below Murphy, who was elected governor in 2017, the state has made an effort to develop the medical cannabis program, with rising calls to additionally legalize leisure use. Earlier this month, Murphy signed invoice A20, also called “Jake’s Regulation” after seven-year-old Jake Honig who died final yr from mind most cancers. The regulation brings various modifications and expansions to the medical marijuana program, together with elevating the month-to-month restrict for sufferers from two ounces to a few ounces, and permitting edibles to be prescribed to adults (beforehand, they had been solely obtainable to minors). 

“I’m proud to face with my legislative companions as we break down boundaries to make sure this life-changing medical therapy is inexpensive and accessible for many who want it most,” Murphy stated on the signing ceremony. 

However the effort to legalize leisure marijuana, which Murphy additionally helps, collapsed within the New Jersey legislature earlier this yr. After that laws fizzled, Murphy vowed that the battle was not over.
“Historical past isn’t made on the first try,” he stated in March. “However ultimately boundaries do fall to those that are dedicated to breaking them down. Definitely I’m disillusioned, however we aren’t defeated.”