New Jersey’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened Thursday, with 20 registered patients coming in and making the first legal marijuana purchases in the state.
The Greenleaf Compassion Center’s opening in Montclair came after politicians argued for nearly three years about implementing the state’s medical marijuana law, the Newark Star-Ledger reports.
"It’s finally the day when patients have safe access to their medicine,” said Joe Stevens, the center’s co-founder. “They lived in the shadows for so long. Now they can come here and feel safe."
Greenleaf marijuana sold for $110 for a quarter-ounce, said one patient, but clinic officials wouldn’t comment on that, saying they didn’t want to violate state rules against advertising.
Only patients who are registered with the state can make purchases at the center, but they have to have a prescription and make an appointment. Walk-ins are not served.
Before entering the center, patients must show a state-issued medical marijuana card and another form of state ID to a security guard. Once inside, they meet with someone to discuss their illness before being allowed to buy marijuana.
The dispensary did draw some marijuana smokers interested in the program to its opening, but they were not allowed inside because they were not registered patients.
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