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New Jersey Court Upholds Medical Pot Review Halt

By Eric Volkman - Jan 17, 2020 at 9:46AM

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The state is ordered to put all applications for new medical cannabis operator licenses on hold.

An appellate court in New Jersey upheld its decision to force a halt to a review of almost 150 applications for medical marijuana licenses in the state, various media outlets reported on Thursday. 

The original decision was handed down at the end of last month. It was the result of a lawsuit brought by six applicants that were rejected purely on a technicality with their applications -- the Department of Health was apparently unable to open attachments to certain ones filed electronically.

Marijuana leaf with stethoscope.

Image source: Getty Images

Following last month's decision, the Department of Health planned to go ahead with applications that had already been deemed proper and complete. However, the appellate court's upholding of the ruling means the delay covers all applications. According to NJ.com, a hearing on the matter won't take place until March at the earliest, thus no new licenses will be awarded before then.

The requests date from last summer, when New Jersey decided to grant an additional 24 medical cannabis business licenses. That was a much lower number than anticipated -- previously, state officials had pledged to award 108 new permits.

New Jersey legalized medical cannabis, albeit with a number of restrictions, in 2010. It does not currently allow recreational use; recent efforts to do so have stalled, although a referendum on the matter will be on state ballots in November's election cycle.

These latest developments in the state do not have a significant impact on publicly traded marijuana stocks, whose presence there is minimal. Curaleaf (CURLF 1.37%) has a single dispensary in the town of Bellmawr. Outside of Curaleaf, dispensary operators tend to be small, privately held enterprises.

On Thursday, Curaleaf stock closed down by nearly 3%.

 

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