New Jersey officials announced Monday which nonprofit organizations can start growing and selling medical marijuana.
Compassionate Care Foundation Inc. of West Trenton will be opening an Alternative Treatment Center in Bellmawr, Camden County. And Compassionate Sciences, Inc. of Sea Cliff, N.Y. will be opening an ATC at a yet-to-be-determined location in either Burlington or Camden County.
Four other locations will open including ATCs in Essex, Hudson, Middlesex and Monmouth Counties.
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The state adopted a law more than a year ago allowing pot to be sold to patients with certain conditions. But implementation has been delayed as officials crafted rules spelling out how the industry would work.
Monday's announcement is a major milestone in bringing medical marijuana to the most populous East Coast state to allow it.
"This is pioneering territory for the state of New Jersey," said Commissioner Poonam Alaigh, M.D. "We are now one step closer to providing patients with debilitating conditions relief from chronic pain. The Department anticipates that these ATCs will be operating this summer in the Northern, Central and Southern Regions of the state."
The state's rules call for the alternative treatment centers to be set up in northern, central and southern New Jersey.
Several groups that wanted to be considered decided not to apply, saying the proposed state regulations are too onerous. To meet the state requirements, applicants had to demonstrate a three-year financial plan, a plan to track patient outcome, a plan to dispose of unused weed and other requirements.