|Graphic: Medical Marijuana Blog|
The six state-licensed growers and sellers for New Jersey medical marijuana patients have just been announced by the state health department.
The list of dispensaries, known as “alternative treatment centers,” or ATCs, in New Jersey, as reported by Susan K. Livio at NJ.com, is as follows:
• Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center Corp., Manalapan, Monmouth County
• Compassionate Care Centers of America Foundation Inc., New Brunswick, Middlesex County
• Compassionate Care Foundation Inc., Bellmawr, Camden County
• Compassionate Sciences, INc., either Burlington or Camden County
• Foundation Harmony, Secaucus, Hudson County
• Greenleaf Compassion Center, Montclair, Essex County
The state health department released the list of winning applicants on Monday, despite the Legislature’s intent to repeal the medical marijuana program rules draft by the Christie Administration.
Many patient advocates in the Garden State believe the rules as proposed are far too restrictive and patient-unfriendly, and lawmakers seem to agree. The law’s sponsors in the Senate said they would rather overturn the proposed rules and start over, delaying the start of the program, then allow such restrictive regulations to move forward.
The New Jersey Compassionate Use Marijuana Act requires the health department to license two alternative treatment centers in the northern part of the state, two in the central part and two in the southern part of the state, for a total of six centers. All must be incorporated as nonprofits, according to state rules.
Health and Senior Services Commissioner Poonam Alaigh said she expects the centers, in addition to growing, packaging and selling cannabis, to also track patient data, including which strains they are using, how much, and the medical “outcome” — the benefits and side effects of using medicinal cannabis.
New Jersey required prospective dispensary operators to pay a $20,000 application with the promise the state would return all but $2,000 to candidates which were not selected. Applicants had to show the centers’ proposed location is not in a drug-free school zone, and either conforms to local zoning or applicants have applied for a variance to permit the operation, according to the bidding rules.