Verano in Readington, MPX New Jersey in Pleasantville, and Columbia Care New Jersey in Vineland were granted medical cannabis cultivation permits, the New Jersey Department of Health announced Tuesday.
This marks the permitting of five of the “new six” medical cannabis businesses awarded licenses by New Jersey in December 2018. There has been movement in this space multiple times in the last two months.
Green Thumb Industries opened its Rise Dispensaries in Paterson on Dec. 20, and TerrAscend, which was granted its cultivation permit for a facility in Boonton Jan. 16., is expected to be fully operational in the first half of 2020. TerrAscend will dispense in Phillipsburg.
Verano, MPX and Columbia Care will be issued permits to dispense as alternative treatment centers after their products are tested by a state laboratory and the dispensaries are inspected by the state’s medical cannabis program. They will dispense in Elizabeth, Atlantic City and Vineland, respectively.
“These new permits bring the total number of operational medical marijuana cultivation sites in New Jersey to 11,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said in a prepared statement. “Thanks to regulatory changes and the signing of Jake Honig’s Law in July 2019, the Department has now added more than 50,000 new patients since the beginning of the Murphy administration, and these new sites will better serve patients statewide.”
At Rise’s opening in December, Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Health Medicinal Marijuana Program Jeff Brown told NJBIZ that the agency was pressing the remaining “new six” awardees to open for patients, saying at the time that there were “two that are close, there are others right behind them, and we’re going to continue to push until we see them all open up.”
According to a release from iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc., MPX’s national affiliate, the first harvest at its 33,000-square-foot Pleasantville cultivation facility is expected in the second quarter of 2020.
“We are thrilled to be entering the New Jersey market, my home-state and our milestone 10th state market,” said Beth Stavola, chief strategy officer of iAnthus and chief executive officer of MPX New Jersey, in a statement. “With this expansion, we will bring to New Jersey not only clean, safe, and high-quality cannabis products, but jobs and increased economic activity in the Pleasantville and Atlantic City areas. We greatly look forward to servicing the medical marijuana community and being part of a path forward toward full adult-legalization.”
New Jersey currently has 67,644 medical cannabis patients, according to the DOH.