ARE THERE SUFFICIENT NUMBERS OF ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT CENTERS?
MEASURE 1: CURRENT MARKET ASSESSMENT The Department announced an expansion of the conditions available for treatment with medical cannabis at the end of March 2018. Since that time there has been a significant expansion of the patient population. Since that expansion, the Department has been monitoring overall supply. Based on this monitoring, during the study period the Department observed that while the market has been keeping pace with global demand, there have been periodic shortages at every ATC. Conclusion: Because every ATC has experienced product shortages during the study period, the current market assessment supports the need for additional ATCs.
MEASURE 2: FUTURE MARKET ASSESSMENT Two scenarios were evaluated to predict future market demand. The status quo scenario assumes static numbers of alternative treatment centers, physicians, and no additional policy changes to the program. The second scenario assumes all EO6 recommendations are implemented, there are increased prescribers in the program, and increasing numbers of ATCs. Under the two scenarios, the Department estimates that in 3 years New Jersey will need between 440,000 and 1,000,000 square feet of licensed cultivation capacity to meet growing demand – or between 25 and 50 cultivation sites, depending on average size of site. Conclusion: The future market assessment supports the need for additional ATCs. At current average cultivation capacity, the Department projects the need for between 24 and 50 cultivation sites.
MEASURE 3: NETWORK ADEQUACY DRIVE TIME ANALYSIS Beyond cultivation capacity, the Department also sought for this report to analyze the network adequacy of the current distribution of dispensaries. Using GIS (Geographic Information System) mapping software, the Department mapped the six operational ATCs and used an algorithm to determine all areas within the state that are a 30 minute distance or less from those locations. The algorithm projects “best-case” drive times. Conclusion: Less than half the state is within 30 minutes of an ATC under a best-case drive time scenario. The drive time analysis supports the need for additional ATCs.
MEASURE 4: MEDICINAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY POPULATION COMPARISON The Department utilized a survey of publicly available data on the number of dispensaries in states with medicinal marijuana programs and used that data to extrapolate a projection for the number of medical dispensaries needed in New Jersey. In New Jersey, there are 1.5 million people per open dispensary, whereas the aggregate average of population per dispensary in other states was roughly 100,000 people per dispensary. If New Jersey was at the average, the state would have 90 medical dispensaries to serve our population. Conclusion: The analysis strongly supports the need for additional dispensary sites in New Jersey.