The Murphy administration wants to double the number of medical marijuana dispensaries operating in New Jersey, from six to 12. The dispensaries are known as Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs.) The administration plans to give two new licenses each in the northern, central and southern regions of the state.

If you want to apply, you must pay a hefty application fee — $20,000, $18,000 of which would be returned to unsuccessful applicants. But it’s not just a matter of plopping down the money and hoping to get picked. Would-be license holders must go through a mandatory preapplication conference; that will take place on Thursday, August 9 at the Department of Health headquarters in Trenton. Applications are due by August 31, 2018.

More than 25,000 patients, 1,000 caregivers, and 700 physicians participate in New Jersey’s medical marijuana program. “Due to the steps that Commissioner Elnahal and I have taken since January, we have seen the addition of 10,000 new patients,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “Accordingly, we have to expand the number of businesses who are growing product and serving patients,” he added. (He was referring to Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal.)

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