July 7, 2020

New Jersey patients have to overcome limited resources and political adversity in their battle to obtain their medical marijuana. The governor is currently unwilling to discuss any prospect of legalizing recreational marijuana and, now, there are no plans of opening more Alternative Treatment Centers in the state. However, lawmakers in the state are still pushing for an expanded medical marijuana program.

Although the application process is currently closed, in this article you can learn more about how to start a medical marijuana dispensary in New Jersey and the costs of opening an “Alternative Treatment Center.” Presumably, the application window will open again sometime in the future, so it is best to be prepared for when that happens.

When was cannabis made legal

New Jersey legalized medical marijuana use for registered patients in 2010, provided they qualify for one of the listed medical conditions.

Alternative Treatment Centers (aka dispensaries) are authorized to distribute and supply patients with medical marijuana. The New Jersey medical cannabis program is regulated by the Department of Health.

New Jersey has a reputable medical dispensary structure, with six ATCs currently in operation. Governor Chris Christie is a firm adversary of legalization and has already clarified that he would not support any recreational legislation.

New Jersey’s medical dispensary system is limited but seems to be running efficiently. Governor Christie did sign a bill in September 2016 to add PTSD as a qualifying condition.

How many dispensaries are there currently in the state

Applications for medical marijuana businesses opened in January of 2011 when the Department of Health released a request for applications seeking to attract the attention of entities interested in establishing ATCs in the state.

In March of 2011, the Dpt. Of Health announced that six ATC applicants were selected to move forward in the process. These legal entities are:

  • Greenleaf Compassion Center
  • Foundation Harmony
  • Breakwater ATC
  • Garden State Dispensary
  • Compassionate Science ATC, Inc.
  • Compassionate Care Foundation, Inc.

The application process will remain closed until all initial six are operational. Once this is done, the state will re-evaluate the program and determine whether or not there is a need for expansion.

In 2017, Foundation Harmony finally received approval to operate. Should the need for more operational dispensaries arise, the Department of Health will publicize the expansion and provide the criteria and process for application.

How much money is there in the dispensary market

How much money is there in the dispensary market
How much money is there in the dispensary market – Image powered by Medicalmarijuana.com

Medical sales for 2016 amounted to $31,000,000 while estimated sales for 2021 are expected to reach $52,500,000.

License requirements

The application period is currently closed. However, that doesn’t mean that you should let your guard down. You can use the time until the state re-opens their program for licensing to prepare your business plans.

Under the guidelines enacted as of January 18th, 2010, New Jersey started accepting applications for legal medical cannabis businesses. However, the procedure for prospective business owners was closed in March of 2011.

The regulations of this measure have provisions for:

  • Medical Marijuana Dispensaries (aka Alternative Treatment Centers)
  • Medical Marijuana Growers
  • Medical Marijuana Processors

Financial requirements

Below are the fees associated with the application and licensing of a marijuana business in New Jersey, as of March 2011:

Application Fee:

  • Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) Application Fee: $2,000
  • Patient Registration Fees: $200 (valid for 2 years)
  • Caregiver Registration Fees: $200 (valid for 2 years)
Financial requirements
Financial requirements – Image powered by Thefinanceteam.co.za

Licensing Fees:

  • Alternative Treatment Center (“ATC”) license fee: $18,000 (check must be submitted with the application, but will be destroyed if the application is denied).
  • ATC annual permit renewal application fee: $20,000.
  • ATC Change of location fee: $10,000.
  • ATC modification of premises fee: $2,000.
  • Transfer of ownership fee: $20,000.

Links to consulting companies that can help open a marijuana dispensary in New Jersey

Want to open a marijuana dispensary in New Jersey? The consulting companies listed below can help explain state licensing requirements, and assist with applications so that you can start your New Jersey marijuana business.

Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]


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  1. By Jennifer Bryan

    ,27 Nov 2018
    Would like information on how to open up a dispensary
  2. By Jennifer Bryan

    ,27 Nov 2018
    Would like information on how to open up a dispensary and what I need to do
  3. By Henry Rac

    ,19 Jan 2020
    Need information on starting a dispensary.

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