New Jersey: Health Regulators Approve Marijuana Dispensary Applicants

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Trenton, NJ: State health regulators on Monday selected six applicants to grow and dispense cannabis in accordance with the state's nascent medical law. Twenty-one separate applicants had applied for the state's six available licenses.

Signed into law in January 2010 by former Gov. Jon Corzine, the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act authorizes patients with a physician's recommendation to possess and obtain medical cannabis from state-authorized "alternative treatment centers."

However, draft rules proposed by the state Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) in 2010 to govern the yet-to-be established program have been criticized by several state lawmakers as unduly restrictive.

Lawmakers have held hearings but have yet to vote on whether or not to repeal the regulations.

Commenting on the applicants' approval, Ken Wolski the executive director of The Coalition for Medical Marijuana – New Jersey (CMMNJ) said, "We certainly wish the successful applicants luck because patients need legal marijuana as soon as possible. However, we have serious doubts that these non-profit organizations will be able to develop a working program with the overly restrictive regulations proposed by DHSS. CMMNJ still supports the legislative Resolution to invalidate significant parts of the DHSS regulations."

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