Marijuana businesses in New Jersey are facing some unique legal challenges according to Green Tech Packaging. Marijuana is not illegal federally, but New Jersey has a strict medical marijuana law that limits who can legally sell or distribute it. This has left many patients without access to their medication and opened up an opportunity for black market sellers to take over the niche. In this blog post, we will discuss how these new regulations have affected those in the industry and why they should be changed.
In New Jersey, medical marijuana is strictly regulated. Patients can only get access through a licensed dispensary and caregiver program that offers qualifying patients with cannabis medication in the form of pills, oils, or creams.
There are strict guidelines for a caregiver- including criminal background checks, fingerprinting, and other requirements.
The Department of Health also approves all dispensaries to ensure they meet standards like security cameras and good growing practices for their plants. This has made it difficult for new companies to enter the marketplace because potential competition lacks these qualifications necessary to start up a business in this industry without significant investment from seed money which most companies lack due to regulations.
For new companies, like marijuana pharmacies, to enter this space in New Jersey, they need a state license which the Department of Health Commissioner grants. He grants licenses only sparingly because he wants fewer than six licensed dispensaries per region- but with so few available, it’s hard for anyone even to get started without competing with already established businesses that are often better funded from private investments.
Even then, there are still substantial costs associated with setting up business operations such as security cameras and grow farms. This can be a barrier to entry even though marijuana is not federally illegal.
The Medical Marijuana Program has also been challenged by the lack of access to medical professionals who are qualified and willing to prescribe cannabis medication, partly because of potential risks associated with prescribing an unproven substance that hasn’t gone through rigorous clinical studies. This puts patients at risk for compliance with their prescription and that they need the medication to live a quality life.