No shortage of applicants to run New Jersey’s six new medical pot clinics

 (Brennan Linsley/AP Photo, file)

(Brennan Linsley/AP Photo, file)

New Jersey plans to double the number of medical marijuana dispensaries to keep pace with the increased demand and there’s a lot of competition to get those licenses.

Since Gov. Phil Murphy ordered an expansion of the medical marijuana program earlier this year, the number of patients has increased to more than 30,000.

There were 106 groups who filed by the Aug. 31 deadline to submit applications for six planned new alternative treatment center licenses.

Scott Rudder, the president of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association, expects the Department of Health will announce the six finalists by Nov. 1.

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“They still have to go through the process of township approvals. And then once that is complete and they start the building the facilities, the Department of Health still has to go their process of inspections and what not before they’re issued final permits,” said Rudder. “That will all take time, but I think there’s an effort afoot to expedite this as quickly as possible.”

Rudder said the increasing the number of dispensaries will benefit patients.

“You‘re going to see more effort into reducing costs and providing better products and services,” he said. “I think you’ll see a lot of these new product lines that are out there for methods to ingest whether it will be through a drink, through a tea, through honey, through oils. And I think that’ll be one of the substantial changes you’ll see in New Jersey.”

State lawmakers in New Jersey are working on bills to further expand the medical marijuana program and legalize adult recreational use.

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