LAW OFFICES OF GEOFFREY D. MUELLER, LLC

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Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey 07632
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White Plains, New York 10601
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Geoffrey D. Mueller

GEOFFREY D. MUELLER

NJ Alternative Treatment Centers Limited To Non-Profit Entities - Natural Medical Inc. v. Department of Health, A-3406-10

Per The New Jersey Law Journal:

"A New Jersey appeals court on Thursday upheld the state's medical marijuana law, along with the Department of Health's determination that only nonprofit entities may qualify as cultivators and dispensaries.

"The Appellate Division turned away a challenge by Natural Medical Inc., a for-profit company that argued the department's restrictions on "alternate treatment centers" (ATCs) were onerous and beyond statutory authority.

"The statutory provision at issue here, considered in full, does not allow for automatic licensure. Nor does it express an explicit legislative commitment to an unlimited number of ATCs," the judges said in Natural Medical Inc. v. Department of Health, A-3406-10."

From the decision:

"At issue is whether the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (Act), N.J.S.A. 24:6I-1 to -16, grantsappellants, a for-profit corporation and its principal, an unqualified right to apply for permits to operate alternatetreatment centers (ATCs) to cultivate and distribute marijuana and to have their applications processed and evaluated irrespective of need. Subsumed within this issue is the question of whether in limiting the initial permitting to the statutorily-mandated minimum of six ATCs, the Department of Health (Department) acted arbitrarily, unreasonably, or in contravention of the Act. For reasons that follow, we answer
both questions in the negative."

Law Journal article and Full Decision after the jump...