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growing weed in nj

The terms of the licenses issued Friday emphasized the importance of ensuring patients’ needs are met before worrying about legal weed. License holders must wait at least one year before applying for a permit to transition into recreational sales and cannot change ownership for two years.

It could take months for such operations to open their doors after trying to find a location, building out and waiting for cannabis plants to grow.

The four vertically integrated licenses were awarded to:

Ownership changes have become commonplace in the cannabis industry, especially in states with medical marijuana programs where weed has since been legalized.

And converting to a full legal weed dispensary comes with a $1 million fee for a licensee with three or more retail locations.

The licenses awarded Friday were part of a 2019 request for applications by the state Department of Health, which oversaw the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program until the CRC was established.

Expanding the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program is key to New Jersey finally opening up legal weed sales for recreational purposes.

Medical patients could grow up to 10 plants. Ken Wolski, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana, has been pushing for this to open up access to more than 100,000 patients who only have 14 alternative treatment centers to choose from.

Gopal says it would be up to local municipalities whether or not to allow dispensaries or growers.

As CBS2’s Meg Baker reports, St. Sen. Vin Gopal sponsored a bill to allow anyone 21 and older to grow up to six marijuana plants at home.

“We have some of the most expensive medical marijuana in the country,” Wolski said. “So many patients are just, you know, have already been impoverished by their illnesses that they simply cannot afford this medicine.”

“It’s going to take at least six months to make our initial rules and regulations, and then only at that point, will they start soliciting adult use licenses. And then it will take another 90 days for those licenses to get considered. And only then can they start the process of opening up,” McQueeny said.

There is a question of safety.

“Sixty seven percent of New Jerseyans voted yes for adult use cannabis. You know, they were voting for, you know, safe, and regulated cannabis, not the Wild West,” he said.