Legal Problems for NJ Medical Marijuana Licensing

Feb 18, 2021

Credit Wikimedia Commons

New Jersey’s medical marijuana licensing process can resume after a court ruling but how it will do that is an open question.

A number of applications were rejected because of technical problems with filing. The applicants sued the state’s department of health over this, but lost.

Craig Provorny, one of the lawyers, said the department didn’t do much to try and fix the problem. “You would hope that they would fix the system going forward but who knows, in our view, in this case, it’s just tough luck, the problem is in the end we may not be getting the best pool of applicants,” he said.

Attorney Joshua Bauchner also represented those whose applications were thrown out because of computer problems. “We’ve banged our head against the wall for a year and a half now trying to understand why they just wouldn’t allow the applicants to resubmit with a certification that nothing’s changed,” he said. “Because again, there’s no dispute, these are qualified applicants and there’s no reason not to review their applications and score appropriately.”

Technical problems aren’t the only ones here. A court ruled in November that the department must change its “unreasonable” system for awarding licenses and make it more transparent. The department has yet to act and had no comment for this story.

“It really creates a conundrum for the state, because as much as I understand they’re eager to score the 2019 applications, the entire methodology and protocol for doing so has been rejected by the court,” he said.

About 150 license applications have sat around for more than a year.