New Jersey finally has a second location for patients to access legal medical marijuana.


New Jersey.

Compassionate Care Foundation, which we reported on earlier this month, finally opened up their location in Egg Harbor Township yesterday with 600 patients under their care and more than 200 appointments booked so far.
The dispensary is housed in a former warehouse which was renamed for cannabis activist Diane Riportella earlier this month. Patients have to call at least 24 hours in advance to book an appointment and cannabis will be selling for around $400 an ounce. That’s on-par with street prices for high-grade cannabis, which the owners say will help keep the resale to the black market to a minimum.

Among the first patients at the dispensary was the state’s youngest (and arguably most famous) patient. Two-year-old Vivian Wilson was the face of a bill last spring that increased access for medical cannabis for minors in the Garden State. Wilson suffers from severe seizures that her parents say high-CBD oils will help alleviate.

Vivian Wilson.

Sadly, they didn’t have anything to help her out. New Jersey dispensaries are only just now able to grow more than three strains – so high-CBD plants and extracts aren’t harvested and on the shelves yet. Wilson was able to leave with an ounce of ganja, but must cook it down into oils and butter himself. They’ll then have to test the cannabis to make sure it is high in CBD.
“It’s great to see them open, but it’s not going to help us much right now,” Brian Wilson told yesterday. “It’s another tiny step forward.”
Owners have predicted about $8 million in sales in the first year. Dispensaries must operate as nonprofits, so much of the money would go towards paying back investors. Hopefully after that it goes toward bringing down the prices of those $400 ounces.
New Jersey’s medical marijuana program currently has about 1,300 active patients.
While the dispensary is welcome news, it’s also been slow to come to open and the state has dragged their heels in allowing other shops to start serving patients as well. As we wrote back in September, some patients have sued the state claiming that they have purposefully stalled in getting dispensaries off the ground.
According to owners, the shop employs 12 full-time employees and 15 part-time workers. After the center receives about $357,000 from the state to expand their grow, they estimate that they’ll hire on at least a dozen more full-time employees.