TRENTON, N.J. – The Assembly Health Committee moved a measure sponsored by Assemblyman Brian Bergen that would promote economic growth by encouraging investments in medical marijuana dispensaries owned by minorities, women and disabled veterans.
“It is going to be so important to our state’s economic recovery to encourage investments in different industries and businesses. Rebounding from coronavirus shutdowns and restrictions on businesses will be no small feat, but I believe it is possible if we offer the right incentives,” said Bergen (R-Morris). “As more health conditions qualify for medical marijuana treatment, the demand for dispensaries will increase. This bill will help meet that growing demand by encouraging investors to help women, minority and disabled veteran-owned medical cannabis alternative treatment centers get off the ground.”
Under current law, individuals and investors cannot simultaneously hold more than one medical marijuana cultivator, manufacturer, or dispensary permit. Bergen’s bill (A5179) allows an investor or investment fund or group to hold up to a 40 percent interest in up to 10 medical marijuana businesses owned by minorities, women, or disabled veterans.
“This law would incentivize investors to provide medical marijuana businesses seeking a permit with financial assistance, because investors will be allowed to have a larger market share of the industry,” explained Bergen.
Medical marijuana businesses would be required to pay back the full value of the assistance, plus interest, within seven years after the agreement date. The investor, group, or fund will be allowed to maintain any ownership interests after the date the full value of the assistance is repaid.
The Senate passed the companion bill (S2875) by a 32 to 8 vote in December.