New Jersey on Monday doubled the number of cannabis cultivators permitted to grow and sell medical marijuana in the Garden State.

“Six very strong applicants were selected, including minority-owned and women-owned businesses,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal.

“We will meet with them early next year to refine their timetable for growing product and opening their doors,” Elnahal continued. “We are committed to an equitable expansion of supply to meet growing patient demand, and these new locations will reach patients that currently have to travel longer distances to obtain the therapy.”

The successful applicants all operate cannabis outlets in other states.

Of the six, two were chosen for South Jersey.

MPX New Jersey won a permit to open its dispensary in Atlantic City and a cultivation facility in Galloway Township. MPX, which in October was bought by iAnthus Capital Holdings in a $835 million deal, also operates growing facilities in Arizona and Nevada and dispensaries in Maryland. iAnthus now has a foothold in a total of 11 states and Canada.

Columbia Care will open its combined facility in Vineland. Columbia Care has permits to grow and dispense cannabis in 11 states and Puerto Rico. In Pennsylvania, it operates dispensaries in Allentown, Scranton, and Wilkes-Barre.

The state Department of Health received 146 applications for the lucrative permits. The applications were reviewed by a six-person panel comprised of employees from the health department and the Departments of Agriculture and Treasury.

Permits were also granted to Green Thumb Industries (GTI) and NETA NJ for the northern portion of the state and to Verano NJ LLC and Justice Grown for the state’s central section. GTI will operate in Paterson; NETA in Phillipsburg; Verano in Elizabeth and Rahway; and Justice Grown in Ewing.