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Monday, June 17, 2024


State Deals Blow to Middle’s Medical Marijuana Plans

Marijuana Plant - Shutterstock

By Vince Conti

TRENTON – Plans to convert the long-vacant La Monica plant, on Indian Trail Road, to a medical marijuana dispensary were dealt a blow by the state Oct. 15.
The state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC), which took control of medical marijuana dispensary licenses from the state Department of Health (DOH), voted to award four new vertically integrated and 10 cultivator licenses, none of which are in Cape May County.
INSA, a Massachusetts-based company, sought a license to use the La Monica plant for a vertically integrated cannabis location that handled medical cannabis from cultivation through manufacture to retail in an on-site dispensary. INSA received Middle Township Committee’s support.
The CRC’s action increased the number of medical marijuana dispensaries from 23 to 27, but estimates are that the state’s almost 120,000 registered marijuana patients require more than double that number of dispensaries. 
Although there will be another round of medical dispensary licensing, the slow pace of state action is leaving many companies wondering how long they can afford to wait. As one disappointed applicant said at the meeting, “No one could have calculated this lasting 28 months.”
The over two-year delay in the licensing process was caused, in part, by litigation after some applicants were cut following the first round of review. It was also impacted by the creation of the CRC and the transfer of authority over medical marijuana licenses from the DOH.
In the process of awarding medical marijuana licenses, Cape May County may be seen as less competitive due to the CRC’s statistics that show the county with 2,189 registered marijuana patients, less than 2% of the state’s total.

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