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Principal Counsel & Attorney-at-Law
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New Jersey Medical Marijuana Licensing

The New Jersey Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act and application rules and regulations create the framework for licensing alternative treatment centers (ATC's) that are monitored by the New Jersey Department of Health. The Act authorizes the Department to verify the information contained in the application for an ATC permit and to require documentation of the operations of each ATC prior to the issuance of the permit. Once an alternative treatment center is operating, the New Jersey Department of Health monitors, oversees, and investigates each ATC.

The Act mandated that at least two ATCs be licensed in the northern, central, and southern regions of the State. However, as of 6/3/2019, the New Jersey Department of Health, seeking to expand its medical marijuana program, has announced that it will now permit up to 38 ATC's in the northern region, 38 in the central region, and 32 in the southern region. 

Leaf Legal, P.C. is fully equipped to assist your legal needs in New Jersey's currently expanding medical marijuana program.

Licensing Requirements for Alternative Treatment Centers

To obtain a license, an applicant must submit an application and associated fees. Applicants must complete the Personal Disclosure Forms that provide employment, educational, family, and additional personal data.

Access to the contact information to request application forms can be found here. Please note that applicants should call the contact in their corresponding geographical region. The relevant forms are (1) Permitting Request Form and (2) Personal History Disclosure Form 1 and 2, which are used for the application process and for any subsequent amendments made thereto.

There are three categories of endorsements available to ATC's: cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensary. The Department seeks to grant up to 24 for cultivation, up to 30 for manufacturing, and up to 54 dispensary endorsements.

Entities may submit a maximum of three applications and may only submit one application per type of endorsement. Each endorsement requires a separate application. Intention to contract with a separate entity for assistance with day-to-day operations, intellectual property, or funding must be disclosed in the application to avoid disqualification from the licensing process. Parent companies participating in the aforementioned activities must also be disclosed.

Requirements for Applications Accepted Between Monday, 7/1/2019--Thursday, 8/15/2019

The application opens in Monday, July 1, 2019. The submission deadline is Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 3 pm EST. If the application is on time and complete, it will be scored by a selection committee based on criteria laid out by the Department of Health.      

Formatting

The application must single-spaced in 12-point, Times New Roman, font. Margins must be 1-inch and pages shall be single-sided on 8 ½” x 11” pages. All associated costs are the responsibility of the applicant. Permit application forms and instructions can be found here after Monday, July 1, 2019. Applications can be filed manually or electronically.

Application Materials

The application cover sheet shall have an attestation statement signed by the president/ chief executive officer of the applicant entity or an individual authorized to make such authorizations. This statement attests to the accuracy, veracity, and completeness of all statements in the submitted materials.

Permit application Part A must be fully filled out. “N/A” MUST be written if a field does not apply. Do not include superfluous documents as it may result in disqualification. Permit Application Part B has a limit of 100 total pages including attachments.

Each applicant must file a copy of the application cover sheet along with the application fee in two payments to the “Treasurer, State of New Jersey.” One payment should be $18,000.00 and the other free should be $2,000.00. Payment should not be submitted as a certified or cashier's checks. The Department will destroy the $18,000.00 check for unsuccessful applicants.

Full Disclosure

Applicants must provide details regarding how they plan to track patient data, maintain security at the dispensary, and address concerns involved with dispensing marijuana. Each alternative treatment center, at a minimum, is required to conduct an initial comprehensive inventory of all medicinal marijuana on the date the ATC first engages in the production or dispensing of medicinal marijuana. ATCs must further conduct a monthly inventory of cultivating, stored, usable and unusable marijuana.

The Department must then verify the application information and accompanying documentation by:

  • Contacting the applicant by telephone, mail or electronic mail;
  • Conducting an on-site visit;
  • Requiring a face-to-face meeting; and
  • Requiring additional relevant information as the Department deems necessary.

No person may operate an alternative treatment center without a Department-issued permit. The permit holder must have responsibility for the management, operation and financial viability of the alternative treatment center. The permit must be posted in a conspicuous location at an alternative treatment center. An ATC must update and ensure the correctness of all information submitted to the New Jersey Department of Health.

Renewel

A permit is in effect for a period of one year and is renewable thereafter. The permit period for an alternative treatment center is from January 1st (or the date of approval of the application, if later) through December 31st of a given year. Sixty (60) days prior to the expiration of an ATC permit, an ATC that seeks to renew the permit must submit an application for renewal of the permit with all required documentation and the required fees.

Under the New Jersey Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act, the Department has 60 days from the date of receipt to approve or deny a completed application. When a permit application is approved and an alternative treatment center is ready for operation, representatives of the New Jersey Department of Health must conduct an inspection to determine if the alternative treatment facility complies with applicable laws and rules. The denial of an application is considered a final agency decision but may be appealed to the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division.

An alternative treatment center is required to submit to the New Jersey Department of Health an application for an amended permit no later than 30 business days prior to any change of the ATC's:

  • Location
  • Ownership
  • Name, or
  • Capacity.

Failure to provide correct and current up-to-date information is grounds for denial of an application for renewal of the permit. The New Jersey Department of Health may also deny the application for renewal of the permit if the applicant is non-compliant with applicable local rules, ordinances and/or zoning requirements, or if the Department of Health determines that the facility is in violation of the law. That is why it is beneficial to consult our attorneys at Leaf Legal, P.C. for your New Jersey medical marijuana business needs.

Requirements for Producers

An alternative treatment center may only produce marijuana at an indoor cultivation site or area authorized in the permit. An ATC is required to sell marijuana with a consistent unit price and label and without volume discounts. Alternative treatment centers are also required to limit inventory of usable marijuana and seeds to be reflective of current patient needs by assessing the number of registered patients. An ATC is authorized to possess two ounces of usable marijuana per registered qualifying patient plus an additional supply, not to exceed the amount needed to enable the ATC to meet the demand of newly registered qualifying patients, consistent with actual demand.

All cultivation of marijuana is required to take place in an enclosed, locked facility. Access to the enclosed, locked facility must be limited to authorized personnel. Alternative treatment centers must follow applicable laws and rules of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and inspection and enforcement activities.

Documents Needed for ATC Licenses

The application for an alternative treatment center requires extensive documentation. For starters, there must be a valid Business Registration Certificate on file with the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, Division of Revenue. The alternative treatment center application must also include a list of the names, addresses and birthdays of the proposed ATC employees, principal officers, directors, owners and board members. The ATC application requires disclosure of service on any other ATC board.

Next, a list of all persons or business entities having direct or indirect authority over the management or policies of the ATC must also be submitted with the application for an alternative treatment center. An ATC applicant must also submit with the application a list of all persons or business entities having five percent (5%) or more ownership in the ATC, whether direct or indirect. The identities of all creditors holding a security interest in the premises must also be submitted. The ATC application additionally requires a list of the members of the ATC's medical advisory board.

The New Jersey Department of Health requires that entities seeking to obtain an ATC license have a comprehensive business plan that includes documentation of the legal name of the corporation and evidence that the corporation is in good standing with the New Jersey Secretary of State. Documents that must be provided in connection with the required ATC application include:

  • Governing corporate documents
  • Financial statements
  • Detailed long-term debt description
  • Compensation plans
  • Contracts with suppliers
  • Tax returns
  • Charitable contributions
  • Statutory and/or regulatory violations, and
  • Litigation History.

Fingerprinting and criminal history record background checks are required for all principals, directors, board members, owners and employees of an applicant alternative treatment center.

Alternative treatment center applications further require written verification of the approval of the community or governing body of the municipality in which the ATC is or will be located. An alternative treatment center must also provide evidence of compliance with local codes and ordinances, specifically the distance from the ATC to places used exclusively for religious worship as well as the distance to a playground, park or child daycare.

Each alternative treatment center must establish and provide documentation of comprehensive inventory procedures. This includes comprehensive inventories of cultivating, stored, usable and even unusable marijuana. If marijuana is disposed of, alternative treatment centers must maintain a written record of the date, the disposed of quantity, and manner of disposal. A comprehensive annual inventory must be conducted at least once every year from the date of the previous comprehensive inventory.

Each ATC is also required to develop, implement, and maintain on the premises an operations manual that addresses, at a minimum, the following:

  • Procedures for the oversight of the alternative treatment center
  • Procedures for safely growing and dispensing medicinal marijuana
  • Procedures to ensure accurate record-keeping, including inventory protocols to ensure that quantities cultivated do not suggest redistribution
  • Employee security policies
  • Safety and security procedures, including a disaster plan with procedures to be followed in case of fire or other emergencies
  • Personal safety and crime prevention techniques
  • The alternative treatment center's alcohol, smoke and drug-free workplace policies, and
  • A description of the ATCs hours and fees.

Each alternative treatment center must provide effective controls and procedures to guard against theft and diversion of marijuana including, when appropriate, systems to protect against electronic records tampering. At a minimum, each ATC is required to install, maintain in good working order, and operate a safety and security alarm system. Alternative treatment centers are also required to limit entry into areas where marijuana is held to owners, employees and/or authorized personnel only. ATCs must provide onsite parking at its premises. ATCs and premises must also be outfitted with proper lighting to help ensure compliance and safety for citizens of New Jersey.

Medical Marijuana Licensing in New Jersey

Mandatory Information

This is the list of the mandatory information that is required in Part A of the application. 

  1. The legal name of the business entity applying for a permit, a copy of the entity's organizational documents or bylaws, evidence that the business entity is in good standing with the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, and a certificate certified under the seal of the New Jersey State Treasurer as to the legal status of the business entity;
  2. Documentation of a valid Business Registration Certificate on file with the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services;
  3. A list of the names, addresses and dates of birth of the proposed alternative treatment center's employees, principal officers, directors, owners and board members, including involvement in any other ATC permit holder;
  4. A list of all persons or business entities having direct or indirect authority over the management or policies of the ATC;
  5. A list of all persons or business entities having five percent or more ownership in the ATC, whether direct or indirect and whether the interest is in profits, land or building, including owners of any business entity that owns all or part of the land or building where the ATC will be located;
  6. The identities of all creditors holding a security interest in the applicant or premises, if any; 7. The bylaws and a list of the members of the ATC's medical advisory board;
    8. Evidence that the principals, directors, board members, owners and employees will cooperate with a criminal history record background check, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 8:64-7.2;
  7. The mailing and physical addresses of the proposed alternative treatment center, and evidence of ownership or lease of the proposed site;
  8. Written verification of the approval of the community or governing body of the municipality in which the alternative treatment center is or will be located;
  9. Evidence of compliance with local codes and ordinances including, but not limited to, the distance to the closest school, church, temple or other places used exclusively for religious worship or a playground, park or child day care facility from the alternative treatment center;
  10. Text and graphic materials showing the exterior appearance of the ATC and its site compatibility with commercial structures already constructed or under construction within the immediate neighborhood; and
  11. Floor plans of the proposed ATC.
  12. Text and graphic materials showing the exterior appearance of the ATC and its site compatibility with commercial structures already constructed or under construction within the immediate neighborhood; and
  13. Floor plans of the proposed ATC. 

Contact the attorneys at Leaf Legal, P.C. for assistance to safely navigate New Jersey's Medical Marijuana Program.

Scored Application Criteria

This page contains the scored application criteria for Part B of the application. This information must be filed as a PDF with a 100-page limit. 

Criterion 1. Ability to meet the overall health needs of qualified patients and safety of the public. 30 pts

  • Measure 1, Security plan: The applicant shall provide an acceptable safety and security plan, including staffing and site plan, and a detailed description of proposed security and safety measures, which demonstrates compliance with the rules at N.J.A.C. 8.64. 10 pts
  • Measure 2. Environmental impact plan: The applicant shall provide a plan explaining how the proposed ATC would minimize negative environmental impacts. 10 pts
  • Measure 3, Quality control and quality assurance plan: The applicant shall provide a quality control and quality assurance plan that illustrates how the proposed ATC will maintain and verify product quality and protect the health and wellbeing of qualified patients. 10 pts

Criterion 2. History of compliance with regulations and policies governing government- regulated marijuana programs. 20 pts

  • Measure 1, Background of principals, board members, and owners: Applicants shall provide an overview of experience of principals, officers, and owners, in operating a regulated cannabis business, or operating a business in another highly regulated industry, such as healthcare, insurance, financial services, pharmaceuticals, or energy. 20 pts

Criterion 3. Ability and experience of applicant in ensuring an adequate supply of marijuana. 20 pts.

  • Measure 1, Financing plan: Applicants shall provide a description and evidence of all funding sources pledged to the ATC, to be evaluated on transparency, suitability and overall adequacy of funding. 20 pts.

Criterion 4. Community Support and Participation. 20 pts.

  • Measure 1, Community education: Applicants shall provide an overview of all community education activities to date, evidence of those activities, and plans for future local engagement. 10 pts.
  • Measure 2, Ties to the local community: Applicants shall provide a list of all owners, officers, board members, and principals that have resided in NJ for at least 1 year, and supply proof of their residency. 10 pts.

Criterion 5. Ability to provide appropriate research data. 10 pts

  • Measure 1, Research contributions: Applicants shall provide evidence of past contributions – in the form of cited original and published work – to expanding clinical and scientific research related to medical cannabis or the debilitating medical conditions that can be treated with medical cannabis. 10 pts

Criterion 6. Experience in cultivating, manufacturing, or dispensing marijuana in compliance with government-regulated marijuana programs. 100 pts.

  • Measure 1, Cultivation plan: Applicants for cultivation endorsements shall provide an overview of practices, policies and procedures for the cultivation of medical cannabis, including the following:
    • Experience/education in botany, horticulture and phytochemistry and the application of those sciences in the cultivation of medical cannabis.
    • Methods to control insects and pests that do not include the application of pesticides.
    • Methods to prevent, minimize and test for plant disease and other contamination. o Methods and practices related to odor mitigation, sanitation and airflow, and employee safety in cultivation environments.
  • Measure 2, Manufacturing plan: Applicants for manufacturing endorsements shall provide an overview of practices, policies and procedures for manufacturing medicinal cannabis products, including the following:
    • Experience/education in biochemistry, laboratory science, engineering and cannabinoid extraction methods.
    • Description of products that the applicant intends to manufacture, including information on ingredients (both active and inactive), methods of production, and relevant patient information like dosing and administration method.
    • Methods to prevent and test for contamination in extracted products.
    • Health and safety standards for lab employees.
  • Measure 3, Dispensary plan: Applicants for dispensary endorsements shall provide an overview of practices, policies and procedures for dispensing medical cannabis to qualified patients, included the following:
    • Experience/education in the treatment of patients with qualifying health conditions.
    • Patient education and counseling methods. 10
    • Employee education procedures for patient-facing staff members.
    • Plans to recruit and educate health care professionals regarding the dispensing of medical cannabis to qualified patients.
    • Explanation of how the proposed dispensary location expands access. Cultivation and manufacturing plans will be scored out of 100, based on the information provided. Dispensary plans will also be scored out of 100, however 30 points will be scored according to the suitability of the proposed location and the extent to which it expands access to qualified patients and their caregivers.

Criterion 7. Workforce and job creation plan, including plans to involve women, minorities and military veterans in ATC ownership, management and experience with collective bargaining in cannabis industries. 100 pts

  • Measure 1, Labor Peace Agreement: Applicants shall provide a signed labor peace agreement that includes provisions to ensure the cultivation, manufacturing and dispensing of medical cannabis will not be disrupted by labor-related disputes. 30 pts.
  • Measure 2, Labor compliance plan: Applicants shall provide a plan to comply with labor laws (including but not limited the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the National Labor Relations Act, and all applicable state laws), and an overview of their experience related to collective bargaining and/or accommodating the rights of workers. 20 pts
  • Measure 3, Minority-owned, women-owned or veteran owned business certification: Applicants shall provide a copy of certification(s) issued by the Department of the Treasury, Division of Revenue which verifies MBE/WBE certification or VOB certification. 30 pts.
  • Measure 4, Workforce and job-creation plan: Applicants will be scored on the extent to which they will involve individuals from socio-economically disadvantaged communities, individuals disproportionately impacted by enforcement of drug laws, and people with disabilities in the proposed ATC. 20 pts

Contact the attorneys at Leaf Legal, P.C. for assistance to safely navigate New Jersey's Medical Marijuana Program. 

Why a Cannabis Business Attorney is Important

The lawyers at Leaf Legal, P.C. provide comprehensive and experienced legal counsel to New Jersey medical marijuana businesses in all aspects from the ground up to make sure clients are able to safely navigate New Jersey's Medical Marijuana Program with an in-depth understanding of all integral elements of licensure and running a compliant business.

By understanding the complexities of New Jersey's licensure procedures, the attorneys at Leaf Legal, P.C. are able to diligently guide clients towards establishing cannabis businesses. Leaf Legal, P.C. is fully equipped to assist your legal needs in New Jersey's rapidly expanding medical marijuana program. Contact the attorneys at Leaf Legal, P.C. to request a free consultation.

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