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Sign of soaring interest in New Jersey as state received 146 applications to open six more medical marijuana dispensaries. Two each are projected for northern, central and southern New Jersey.

Governor Phil Murphy said, “This is only the beginning. By expanding alternative treatment, we are satisfying a need and ensuring patients access to medical marijuana. A total of 16 aliments are now covered, including anxiety and Tourette’s syndrome for which patients may be prescribed marijuana. We are improving the significance of the program and removed questionable barriers started by the previous administration. By creating a more consumer-friendly approach, we are only at the beginning.”

Prospective operators of the new dispensaries must also grow and cultivate their, provide evidence of site control and get approval from the local municipal council. They also must submit a business plan showing anticipated revenue and expenses over five years.

As the state moves to expand the medical program, lawmakers are inching forward with a bill that would make New Jersey the ninth state to establish a legal and taxed market for marijuana. Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, had said he hopes to get a vote this month on a 71-page bill that would allow adults 21 and older to purchase marijuana at potentially hundreds of retail locations in the state.

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