From the New Jersey Department of Health: 
TRENTON, NJ – The Murphy Administration today announced it is seeking up to six new applicants to operate medicinal marijuana dispensaries — two each in the northern, central and southern regions of New Jersey. 
“We look forward to the opening of six new dispensaries so we can ensure that all qualifying patients who want access to medicinal marijuana can have it,’’ said Governor Phil Murphy. “Due to the steps that Commissioner Elnahal and I have taken since January, we have seen the addition of 10,000 new patients. Accordingly, we have to expand the number of businesses who are growing product and serving patients.”
Currently, more than 25,000 patients, 1,000 caregivers and 700 physicians are participating in the program.
“As we strive to make the program more responsive to the needs of patients, caregivers and Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs), we recognize the need to grow the industry and create more options for patients,” said Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal, M.D.
A Request for Applications (RFA), which was noticed in today’s New Jersey Register and published on the Department’s website, notes that applicants would have to operate a dispensary and facilities that do cultivating and manufacturing and provide evidence of site control and verification of the approval of the governing body in the municipality where they intend to locate. The business can be either nonprofit or for profit and is also required to submit a business plan including a budget detailing revenues and expenses over a five-year period. The RFA is available at:
Applicants can submit applications for more than one region of the state but must submit a separate application for each region. The fee for applying is $20,000, although $18,000 of that fee will be returned to unsuccessful applicants.
A mandatory pre-application conference is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 9 at the Department of Health headquarters in Trenton. The purpose of the conference is to give potential applicants a chance to have questions answered about the process. The Department will electronically accept questions until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7 from all potential applicants via email at Applications are due Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. Applicants chosen to proceed in the permitting process will be announced Nov. 1, 2018.
The six currently operating ATCs are not eligible to participate in this application process. Existing ATCs already have the opportunity to add additional sites for cultivating, manufacturing and dispensing. Additional opportunities to apply to build cultivating, manufacturing and dispensing sites will be available in the future.
The Commissioner is also working to expand physician participation in the program. Last week, he conducted two grand rounds lectures with 300 physicians at teaching hospitals to dispel myths and reduce stigma in the medical community. Although more than 100 new doctors have signed up since the expansion began, only 700 of the 28,000 licensed physicians in New Jersey are currently registered to participate in the Department of Health’s Medicinal Marijuana program.
Applicants are prohibited from directly contacting the Department or Division of Medicinal Marijuana concerning this RFA.
New Jersey Department of Health
Division of Medicinal Marijuana
Request for Applications
I. Definitions
“Alternative treatment center” or “ATC” means the permitted alternative treatment center
authorized to grow and provide registered qualifying patients with usable marijuana and related
paraphernalia in accordance with the provisions of the “New Jersey Compassionate Use
Marijuana Act,” N.J.S.A. 24:6I-1 et seq. (the Act). This term shall include the organization’s
officers, directors, board members and employees.
“Central region” means the counties of Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean,
Somerset and Union.
“Cultivation” includes the planting, propagating, cultivation, growing, harvesting, labeling or
manufacturing, compounding and storing of medicinal marijuana for the limited purpose of the
Act and this chapter.
“Manufacturing” means compounding, making, and processing medicinal marijuana in all forms.
“Northern region” means the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and
“Region” means either the northern region, central region or southern region as defined in this
“Southern region” means the counties of Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland,
Gloucester and Salem.
“Vertical integration” means the co-location or combination of the following activities related to
the production of usable marijuana for qualifying patients within a single corporate entity:
cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensing.
II. General Information
The “New Jersey Compassionate Use Marijuana Act,” N.J.S.A. 24:6I-1 et seq. (the Act) provides
protection from arrest, prosecution, property forfeiture, and criminal and other penalties by the
State of New Jersey for those patients who use marijuana to alleviate suffering from certain
medical conditions, as well as their physicians, primary caregivers, and those who are authorized
to produce, process, and dispense marijuana for medical purposes.
The Act tasks the Department of Health with seeking “to ensure the availability of a sufficient
number of alternative treatment centers throughout the State, pursuant to need, including at least
two each in the northern, central and southern regions of the State.” N.J.S.A. 24:6I-7. The Act
further directs that “the first two centers issued a permit in each region shall be nonprofit entities,
and centers subsequently issued permits may be nonprofit or for-profit entities. N.J.S.A. 24:6I-7.
In March 2018, the Department of Health added 5 additional medical conditions to the list of
conditions available for treatment with medicinal marijuana. Since the addition of those
conditions, which include two types of chronic pain, anxiety, migraine, and Tourette’s syndrome,
the program has added 7,000 new patients, bringing the total patient count to over 25,000 as of
July 2018. Due to this significant expansion of the patient population served by the Medicinal
Marijuana Program over the course of the first 6 months of 2018, and projected future expansion,
the Department has determined, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 24:6I-7, that additional alternative
treatment centers are necessary to meet the needs of the population of qualified patients in the
Medicinal Marijuana Program.
Therefore, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 8:64-6.1, the Department provides this notice of a Request for
Applications (RFA) for up to six (6) additional vertically integrated alternative treatment centers:
up to two in the northern region, up to two in the central region, and up to two in the southern
The Department’s goal is equal division of the new Alternative Treatment Centers between each
region; however, awards made pursuant to this RFA shall not be delayed in the event of unequal
division between regions.
The Department anticipates the release of two additional Requests for Applications in the fall of
2018 and winter of 2019, after the Department’s currently proposed rule amendments are
adopted. The first will be for additional cultivators and manufacturers, and the second for
additional dispensary locations.
III. Eligibility
The Department will seek applications from both for-profit and non-profit entities as the
statutory threshold for two nonprofit alternative treatment centers in each region has been met.
Those seeking to apply for this RFA as a non-profit entity are not required to be recognized as a
501(c)3 organization by the Internal Revenue Service.
Entities may submit an application for an ATC permit for one or more regions, but must submit a
separate application for each region. If submitting for multiple regions, the applicant shall rank
the applications in order of priority on the required cover sheet.
If a Joint Venture is submitting an application, the agreement between the parties relating to such
Joint Venture should be submitted with the Joint Venture’s application. Authorized signatories
from each party comprising the Joint Venture must sign the Offer and Acceptance Page. Each
party to the Joint Venture must individually comply with requirements 1-5 set forth in Section
VII, Criteria and Weighting.
Any entity currently holding a permit issued by the Department to dispense medicinal marijuana,
including affiliates, is not eligible to participate in this RFA. Individuals and entities with a 25%
stake (in the form of debt, equity, or other financial relationship) in any of the currently
permitted ATCs, or entities responsible for the management of currently permitted ATCs are also
ineligible to apply.
IV. Application
The application instructions, including all forms mentioned in this notice, will be available on the
Department’s website on August 1, 2018, found at:
The instructions posted on August 1, 2018 shall supersede this notice.
The application materials submitted by each applicant shall include a full and complete written
response to each of the criteria specified in this announcement, as well as completion and
submission of all mandatory information. Failure to timely submit full, complete, and truthful
information for the mandatory requirements shall result in automatic disqualification from this
Request for Applications.
The application cover sheet shall include a statement attesting to the accuracy and veracity of all
statements, figures, amounts and other information incorporated within the materials submitted.
This attestation statement shall be signed by the president/chief executive officer of the applicant
entity or other individual authorized to make legally binding commitments on behalf of the
The application, excluding attachments that cannot be formatted accordingly, shall be typed
using 12 point Times Roman font or equivalent, single spaced, with one (1) inch margins, singlesided
on letter-sized (8 ½” x 11”) pages.
All applications shall be submitted to the New Jersey Department of Health at the following
Division of Medicinal Marijuana
NJ Department of Health
PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
All costs involved in preparation and submission of an application shall be the responsibility of
the applicant. The Department shall not be responsible for any costs incurred by an applicant in
preparation or submission of an application.
Each applicant shall file ten printed copies and one electronic (PDF) copy of all application
materials, accompanied by an application fee, in two payments made payable to the Treasurer,
State of New Jersey, one in the amount of eighteen thousand dollars ($18,000) and one in the
amount of two thousand dollars ($2,000).
Unsuccessful applicants will receive a refund of eighteen thousand dollars ($18,000). Any check
returned for insufficient funds will result in the disqualification of the applicant.
The deadline for receipt of application materials filed in response to this announcement are
Applications received after the deadline shall NOT be accepted for review.
Copies of the Rules Related to the Medicinal Marijuana Program may be obtained at
V. Mandatory Pre-Application Conference
The purpose of the mandatory pre-application conference scheduled for Thursday, August 9,
2018 is to provide a structured and formal opportunity for the Department to respond to
questions from potential applicants regarding this Request for Applications. Any entity interested
in submitting an application in response to the RFA is required to attend. The Department will
electronically accept questions and inquiries until 4:00 PM on Tuesday, August 7 from all
potential applicants via email at with “RFA Question” in the subject
Attendance at the mandatory pre-application will be limited to four (4) attendees per applicant.
An attendee may represent only one (1) potential applicant.
Questions and responses will be posted on the Department’s Medicinal Marijuana website at
In addition, applicants should also monitor the Department’s Medicinal Marijuana website for
additional questions/responses and other addenda to this announcement.
Applicants are prohibited from directly contacting the Department or Division of
Medicinal Marijuana concerning this RFA. PHONE INQUIRIES WILL NOT BE
VI. Application Submission and Review Schedule
Monday, July 16, 2018 Notice of Request for Applications
Wednesday, August 1, 2018 Release of Request for Applications and Required Forms
Thursday, August 9, 2018 Mandatory Pre-Application Conference
Friday, August 31, 2018 Closing Date of Application Period
Thursday, November 1, 2018 Anticipated announcement of applicants chosen to proceed
in the permitting process
VII. Criteria and Weighting
Mandatory Organizational Information – All applicants must submit the following
information. Failure to submit any of the information may result in automatic disqualification
from the selection process.
An applicant for an ATC permit shall submit an application form and the fees required by
N.J.A.C. 8:64-6.5.
As noted on the application form, the mandatory documentation includes the following:
The legal name of the corporation, a copy of the articles of incorporation and by-laws, evidence
that the corporation is in good standing with the New Jersey Department of the Treasury and a
certificate certified under the seal of the New Jersey State Treasurer as to the legal status of the
business entity; and
The following information about each applicant, including the information for each
subcontractor or affiliate to the entity named in the application:
1. Documentation of a valid Business Registration Certificate on file with the New Jersey
Department of the Treasury, Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services;
2. If an applicant is a non-profit, proof of non-profit status;
3. Submission of completed ATC Entity Disclosure forms, with all supporting
documentation, for each applicant, subcontractor and affiliate;
4. Submission of completed Personal History Disclosure forms, with all supporting
documentation, for all principals, directors, board members, owners, and managers;
5. Evidence that all principals, directors, board members, owners and employees will
cooperate with a criminal history record background check pursuant to N.J.A.C. 8:64-7.2,
including payment of all applicable fees associated with the criminal history record
background check, which shall be paid by the ATC or the individual;
6. If a principal, director, board member, owner or employee has a disqualifying conviction,
evidence that the individual has been rehabilitated;
7. The by-laws and a list of the members of the ATC’s medical advisory board, or a
proposed plan to organize a medical advisory board;
8. The mailing and physical addresses of the proposed alternative treatment center and
evidence of site control for all proposed locations in the form of proof of ownership or a
9. Written verification of the approval of the community or governing body of the
municipality in which the alternative treatment center is or will be located*;
10. Evidence of compliance with local codes and ordinances including, but not limited to, the
distance to the closest school, church, temple or other places used exclusively for
religious worship or a playground, park or child day care facility from the alternative
treatment center;
11. A legible map or maps of the service areas by zip code to be served by the alternative
treatment center showing the location of the alternative treatment center; and
12. Text and graphic materials showing the proposed exterior appearance of the ATC and its
site compatibility with commercial structures already constructed or under construction
within the immediate neighborhood.
*If an applicant does not have site control or local approval at the time of the application, the
applicant shall submit a plan to obtain site control and local approval within 30 days of
acceptance (by November 30, 2018).
Scored Criteria: The following information must be submitted in narrative form and will be
judged by the selection committee according to the following weights on a 1000-point scale.
Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 8.64-6.2, the criteria falls within several broad categories:
1. Ability to meet overall health and safety needs of qualified patients and safety of the
• Past business experience of applicants (100 pts)
• Business operations and compliance (125 pts)
• Security (100 pts)
• Cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensary operations (300 pts)
• Financing (100 pts)
• Value and Affordability for Patients (50 pts)
• Market Diversification (25 pts)
2. Community Support and Participation
• Community support and participation (50 pts)
• Corporate responsibility (50 pts)
• Diversity (50 pts)
3. Ability to provide appropriate research data
• Commitment to Clinical Research (50 pts)
Criterion 1: Ability to meet overall health and safety needs of qualified patients and safety
of the public.
Measure 1: Past business experience of applicants – up to 100 pts
In a narrative, applicants shall describe their past experience in the following areas:
• Operating a regulated medical cannabis business, or operating a business in another
highly regulated industry, such as healthcare, insurance, financial services,
pharmaceuticals, or energy. (25 pts)
• Past experience and contributions toward expanding the body of scientific knowledge
related to medicinal marijuana cultivation, manufacturing and dispensing. (25 pts)
• Past experience in all three aspects of the medicinal marijuana supply chain: cultivation,
manufacturing and dispensing. (25 pts)
• Specific qualifications of board members, owners, officers, and managers, including any
business or professional accolades related to the cultivation, production and dispensing of
medicinal marijuana. (25 pts)
Each applicant may submit up to 3 references to validate their past business experience.
Measure 2: Business operations and compliance – up to 125 pts
In a narrative, applicants shall describe their operational plan(s) to comply with the rules for
Alternative Treatment Centers specified at N.J.A.C. 8.64, including:
• Recordkeeping and data privacy, including HIPAA (10 pts)
• Reporting (10 pts)
• Inventory management, including seed-to-sale tracking (10 pts)
• Storage (10 pts)
• Processing (10 pts)
• Packaging (10 pts)
• Transportation (10 pts)
• Employee training (10 pts)
• Patient education (10 pts)
• Disaster recovery (10 pts)
In addition, applicants shall also provide a mobilization plan with a detailed timetable for the
first year of its business to demonstrate how the applicant will have the necessary personnel,
equipment, and resources it needs to begin operations. (25 pts)
Measure 3: Security – up to 100 pts
The applicant shall provide an acceptable safety and security plan, including staffing and site
plan, and a detailed description of proposed security and safety measures which demonstrates
compliance with the rules at N.J.A.C. 8.64.
Measure 4: Cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensary operations, and ensuring an adequate
supply of medicinal marijuana to qualified patients – up to 300 pts
Related to the cultivation of medicinal marijuana, applicants shall describe the following: (150
• Detailed summary of practices, policies and procedures for the cultivation of medicinal
marijuana. (20 pts)
• Knowledge of botany, horticulture, and phytochemistry, and the application of those
sciences in the cultivation of medicinal marijuana. (30 pts)
• Plan to scale operations to meet increasing demand, including the applicants beginning
cultivation capacity in square feet and total cultivation capacity of the facility in square
feet. (10 pts)
• Estimate of time needed to produce first full crop of medicinal marijuana, including the
projected size of that crop and the reasoning for the estimates. (10 pts)
• Quality assurance, quality control and testing protocols to assess medicinal marijuana for
potential contamination. (20 pts)
• Methods to control insect pests that do not include the application of pesticides. (10 pts)
• Methods to prevent and minimize plant disease. (10 pts)
• Methods and practices related to odor mitigation, sanitation, and airflow. (10 pts)
• Plans to collect data on cultivated marijuana to further scientific research. (15 pts)
• Detailed floor plan of cultivation site/space. (15 pts)
Related to manufacturing of medicinal marijuana, applicants shall provide the following: (75
• Detailed summary of practices, policies and procedures for manufacturing medicinal
marijuana products; (20 pts)
• Detailed summary of the products the applicant intends to manufacture, including
information on ingredients (both active and inactive), cannabinoid profile, and relevant
patient information like dosing and administration method. (20 pts)
• Quality control, quality assurance and testing of medicinal marijuana products for
potential contamination. (20 pts)
• Detailed floor plan of manufacturing site/space. (15 pts)
Related to the dispensing of medicinal marijuana and medicinal marijuana products, applicants
shall provide the following: (75 pts)
• Detailed summary of practices, policies and procedures for the dispensing of medicinal
marijuana and related products to qualified patients. (20 pts)
• Description or examples of patient education and counseling materials and practices. (20
• Employee education procedures for dispensary and other patient-facing staff members.
(20 pts)
• Detailed floor plan of dispensary, including interior renderings. (15 pts)
Measure 4: Financial Suitability and Sustainability — up to 100 pts
In addition to the required ATC Entity Disclosure and Personal History Disclosures, applicants
shall provide:
• A brief summary (no more than 5 pages) of the applicant’s business plan including a
budget and projected expenses and revenues for at least a 5 year time period. (25 pts)
• Evidence of sufficient access to capital to support the proposed alternative treatment
center. (25 pts)
• Certified financial statements (audited or reviewed) in accordance with applicable
standards by an independent Certified Public Accountant, which include a balance sheet,
income statement, and statement of cash flow, and all applicable notes for the most
recent calendar or fiscal year. (25 pts)
• Record of past business taxes paid to federal, state and local governments. (25 pts)
Measure 5: Value and Affordability for Patients – up to 50 pts
Applicants shall provide evidence and plans to:
• Provide cost-effective medicinal products to qualified patients and their caregivers; (10
• Ensure their proposed products are affordable to the patient population; (10 pts)
• To provide discounts to seniors, veterans and patients on government assistance; (10 pts)
• To implement a free or significantly reduced cost program for the indigent. (10 pts)
Applicants are encouraged to submit proposed/sample pricing information. (10 pts)
Measure 6: Market diversification – up to 25 points
Applicants shall provide evidence that their proposed ATC will improve competition and
diversification in New Jersey’s medicinal marijuana market.
Additionally, the selection committee shall review the application materials against the
Department of Health’s historical program data to assess whether accepting the proposed ATC
could result in increased market concentration, defined as an increased market share for an
individual, group of individuals, or an entity involved in ATC operations.
The selection committee shall not only consider the corporate structure of the proposed ATC, but
also the owners, principals, directors, managers, affiliates, and contractors when determining the
impact of a proposal on market share.
Criterion 2: Community Support and Local Participation
Measure 1: Community Support and Local Participation- up to 50 pts
In no more than 5 pages, the applicant shall describe their ties to the local community and history
of community involvement, including but not limited to:
• Business and investment; (10 pts)
• Involvement with non-profits and community organizations; (10 pts)
• Residency of owners, board members, officers and managers; (20 pts)
• Local hiring plans. (10 pts)
Each applicant may submit up to 3 letters of support to validate their record of community
support and local participation.
Measure 2: Corporate Social Responsibility – up to 50 pts
In a narrative no longer than 5 pages, the applicant shall provide an overview of their plans or
experience pertaining to:
• Promoting diversity in their workforce; (10 pts)
• Providing competitive compensation and benefits to their employees, including any
means for gaining equity in the company; (10 pts)
• Reducing environmental impacts of the cultivation/manufacturing facility; (10 pts)
• Educating the community about the proposed ATCs, including addressing any concerns;
(10 pts)
• Collective bargaining agreements. (10 pts)
Measure 3: Diversity – up to 50 pts
Applicants shall provide evidence of the following factors:
• Involvement of women, minorities and veterans in the ownership, board, and
management of the proposed ATC. (25 pts)
• Any certifications or designations proving the business is women-owned, minorityowned,
or veteran-owned. (25 pts)
Criterion 3: Ability to provide appropriate research data.
Measure 1: Commitment to Research – up to 50 pts
In a narrative no longer than 5 pages, please describe the applicant’s commitment to medical
research, including but not limited to:
• Past experience with clinical research, especially related to medicinal marijuana; (10 pts)
• Contributions and experience relevant to expanding the science of medicinal cannabis;
(10 pts)
• Ties to the clinical research community in New Jersey and in other jurisdictions; (10 pts)
• Any current or proposed partnerships with New Jersey medical schools; (10 pts)
• Proposed funding and/or other resources for clinical research. (10 pts)
Applicants may submit any letters of support to validate current or proposed research
VIII. Fees
As a condition of Department consideration of an application submitted in response to this
Request for Applications issued pursuant to N.J.A.C. 8:64-6.1, applicants shall submit a fee of
$20,000 for each application.
The applicant shall submit the fee with the application, in the form of two checks payable to the
“Treasurer, State of New Jersey,” one of which is for $2,000 and the other of which is for
If an application is unsuccessful, the Department shall retain the $2,000 fee and shall destroy the
other check for $18,000.
Application fees of successful applicants are non-refundable.