The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission on Friday is expected to award licenses for new medical marijuana cultivation centers, as well as licenses for vertically-integrated medical marijuana operations — where the license holder grows, manufactures and sells the drug, according to the commissions agenda for its meeting.
New Jersey Department of Health
But MPX NJ’s “Be” hasn’t opened its doors off the Boardwalk as planned.
The company’s relationship with its investor iAnthus has soured, and some former leaders at MPX NJ are out. The two companies have argued over which has rights to build out the property and are wrestling now for control over the license. It’s one of only 12 the state has awarded.
As the property languishes, New Jersey’s 113,000 medical marijuana patients struggle to find affordable and accessible cannabis. Many have reported long lines and commutes only to encounter product shortages.
But Brown said he’s not seeing enough of the existing cannabis industry in the state using their advanced position -- already holding licenses and in full operation of cannabis production and distribution -- to help meet the inevitable wave of customers soon to come.
During the meeting, commission member Sam Delgado, a former Verizon executive and retired Marine Corps Reserve Combat Communications Officer, was elected as the group’s vice chair.
“I will strive to ensure that this commission runs and operates with the same level of professionalism, diligence and commitment that we expect from our industry operators,” Delgado said, who then recalled a story about the time he was arrested in 1975 for marijuana possession in New York.
One applicant saw its rejection reversed: ZY Labs, whose plans to open a dispensary in Hillside was given new life.
The DOH had rejected the ZY Labs application because it did not include written approval of the project by officials in Hillside, where the proposed medical marijuana dispensary would be built.
Two marijuana firms are embroiled in a legal fight over the ownership of a Pleasantville cultivation facility.
MPX NJ, a group owned primarily by Elizabeth Stavola, last week sued iAnthus Capital Management and its New Jersey subsidiary, claiming the company illegally highjacked the operation of the Pleasantville Alternative Treatment Center, for which the two firms hold a shared lease.
MPX NJ, which received one of only 12 vertical MMJ licenses in the state, sued iAnthus last week, claiming iAnthus has tried to take control of its operations, including construction work at a cultivation facility without authorization, after investing $10 million in the business, NJ.com reported.
MPX Bioceutical and iAnthus agreed to merge in late 2018 and entered into an agreement that would transfer ownership from MPX NJ to iAnthus over time.
But that agreement reportedly has yet to be approved by the state Department of Health.
A court ruling in New Jersey could prompt regulators to resolve some of the lingering litigation over medical cannabis licensing in advance of the launch of a recreational marijuana program in the state.
A New Jersey appellate panel last week instructed the state Department of Health to reconsider the applications of companies rejected during the 2018 licensing round, according to Law360.com.
The ruling pertains only to appeals involving the state’s 2018 licensing round.
Not long after state Sen. Nick Scutari claimed on Tuesday legislators and regulators may “be able to flip the switch and people might be able to get marijuana, legally, right after the vote,” the head of the state medical cannabis program doused that pipe dream with a bucket of cold water.
As you may be aware, the 2019 RFA was announced in July 2019, with applications to be submitted by no later than August 22, 2019.