First N.J. medical marijuana facility to open Thursday in Montclair
The five-member Board of Trustees for Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair initially will be seeing patients by appointment only, starting 10 a.m Thursday, said Joe Stevens, board member and Greenleaf co-founder.
Greenleaf's opening is a long time coming. In January, New Jersey's medical marijuana law will be three years old. Gov. Chris Christie was required to implement the program when he took office in January and he fought with lawmakers and advocates over the rules. There were problems with screening potential dispensary operators that bogged down progress. The governor repeatedly stressed New Jersey would in no way resemble Colorado and California, which have set lax rules on who can participate.
The state Department of Health has registered 338 patients, with another 61 whose applications are under review, state spokeswoman Donna Leusner said.
"As of tomorrow, some seriously ill patients in New Jersey will have safe and legal medical marijuana. They, and their families will not have to fear arrest. They will not have fear the dangers of an illegal market. For these patients, whether to use medical marijuana will a decision between them and their doctors—as it should be," Scotti said.