Mili Note: To apply for a permit to have a pharmacy in NJ, the fee is only $175.
The New Jersey Health Department has just released a new set of rules for the NJ MMJ program as well as a how-to guide for those who want to bid on the paltry six alternative treatment centers New Jersey plans to allow to operate. To get in on the bidding, you’ll have to be willing to pony up $2,000 and if you win, you’ll need another $18,000 to secure the license.
This, folks, is government monopoly at its finest. Not only does the State of New Jersey get to completely control the medical marijuana industry there, but they are doing so in such a way that virtually guarantees graft, corruption, insider dealing, and price fixing. Does anyone really believe that with these huge fees, strict requirements, and this heavy-handed control over competition that the MMJ industry in New Jersey will be anything but a government-sponsored drug dealing system?
Think about it. Let’s say your name is Al Capone and you are a drug dealer on the island. You have wads of cash, plenty of marijuana, and are interested in going legit with at least the cannabis portion of your drug trade – a drug trade made profitable, of course, by government prohibition. So you go into the Department of Health and Human Services with your $20,000 fee and “an offer they can’t refuse.” You get the license for a dispensary. Maybe two of them, who knows?
Now let’s say you’re a patient collective made up of two hundred chronic patients with qualifying conditions to get MMJ in Jersey. Banding together, you’ll only have to come up with $100 each to make the fee for the license. Then add on the costs of opening the business with all of the security, safety, and other requirements that the state has also imposed. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know a lot of chronically ill people who have a lot of money laying around. Do you think you could find two hundred chronically ill patients who could come up with $500 each with no hope of any return on that investment? How about 200 who could come up with $100 each with only a lottery drawing’s chance of succeeding in getting a license (and who’ll only get $80 back if they fail)?
This doesn’t even consider the heavy restrictions for doctors and growers in New Jersey. You think the street value of illegal marijuana is high? Wait until it becomes available legally in Jersey. That state’s government seems hell bent on making sure no one can afford MMJ.
I wonder what the public would say if they tried this with Prozac or Viagra?
[source New Jersey Newsroom]