New Jersey Court Says State Needs Better System for Licensing Medical Cannabis Operators

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A New Jersey appellate court ruled Nov. 25 that the state needs a better system for licensing its medical cannabis operators, according to an NJ.com report.

According to the ruling, the state wrongly rejected applicants when it awarded six additional licenses in 2018, and the Department of Health must now establish a new scoring system, the news outlet reported.

The decision will not revoke the licenses of the state’s current medical cannabis operators, according to NJ.com, but it could give other applicants a second chance at licensing in the future, as well as create a more transparent licensing process going forward.

The New Jersey Department of Health accepted applications in 2018 for six new medical cannabis licenses, and seven of the rejected applicants filed a lawsuit over the scoring process, NJ.com reported.

In its decision last week, the court said that it does not have the authority to issue licenses to the rejected applicants, according to the news outlet, but the ruling could change how licenses are issued in the future, especially as New Jersey works to implement an adult-use cannabis program after voters approved legalization in the November election.

Under the voter-approved initiative, the medical and adult-use licensing processes will transition from the Department of Health to a newly created Cannabis Regulatory Commission, NJ.com reported.

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