Application materials for an expansion of the medical cannabis program were released Monday on the state’s Department of Health website.
This RFA, or Request for Applications process, allows for three types of submissions: cultivation application, dispensary application and vertically integrated application.
Last July’s RFA only allowed for vertically integrated applications, which served as a barrier for entry.
“A lot of people didn’t have the financial capacity or the full breadth of expertise to establish a fully vertically integrated facility so a lot of people didn’t apply last round,” said Sean Mack, cannabis attorney at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden PC in Holmdel. “But we will see those people applying this time.”
Mack, represented four groups last time who started but did not finish their application process.
“The 140 applications that were not selected last time can most likely very easily modify and resubmit, and with the change in structure allowing for just individual licenses for dispensing or cultivation, I do expect that will increase the number of smaller businesses and people who did not participate last time because of the cost and breadth of the application,” he said. “I expect it to be a much more robust application process this time.”
In all, the DOH is seeking up to five cultivation endorsements, up to 15 dispensary endorsements, and up to four vertically integrated endorsements. Applicants may seek up to three endorsements in all, although vertically integrated endorsements count as three and therefore can only submit one application. Applicants can submit one application per northern, central, or southern region.
A pre-application webinar will be held and open to the public on Aug. 2. Dispensary applications are due Aug. 21. Cultivation and vertically integrated applications are due Aug. 22.
Forms are available here.