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420 with CNW — NJ Court Tells Marijuana Regulators to Revise Licensing System

In December 2018, the New Jersey Department of Health issued six new medical cannabis licenses, effectively doubling the state’s medical-marijuana program. Gov. Phil Murphy had called for the expansion of New Jersey’s medical cannabis program, resulting in the addition of 20,000 medical cannabis patients. The six vertically integrated dispensaries were meant to beef up the state’s supply of high-quality marijuana as existing dispensaries were struggling to meet the increased demand.

However, a group of seven applicants whose license applications were rejected sued the state, arguing that the system used to issue licenses was riddled with irregularities. Joshua Baucher, an attorney representing one of the rejected applicants, said that in some cases, a judge would award a certain section of the application full credit while another judge gave the same section no points. He referred to the licensing system as “suspect,” and close to a year later, a New Jersey Court has agreed with him.

A three-judge appellate court ruled that several medical cannabis applications were wrongly rejected, stating that the system used by the state to rate applicants WAS not transparent. The New Jersey court vacated (rendered void) the decision to award the six new licenses and tasked the state health department with developing a new rating system. The ruling will pave the way for a more transparent licensing system, and it could give other dispensaries a shot at joining the industry.

However, it does not mean the successful applicants, four of whom have already opened their doors to the public, will have their medical cannabis licenses stripped. The six licenses were awarded to NETA NJ LLC in Phillipsburg, GTI New Jersey LLC in Peterson, Verano NJ LLC in Rahway and in Elizabeth, Justice Grown in Ewing, MPX New Jersey in Atlantic City and Galloway, and Columbia Care New Jersey in Vineland.

Although the court has voided the initial decision to award six licenses, it says that it doesn’t have the authority to issue additional licenses to the rejected applicants, especially since the Department of Health initially intended to issue only six licenses.

Elsewhere, the cannabis sector is growing with minimal disruptions due to legal battles. For example, Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) based in British Columbia, Canada, is thriving as an extractions company. In addition to its own products, Pure Extracts offers extraction services to other licensed companies within and outside Canada.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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