Medical marijuana can now be sold legally in New Jersey’s first-ever state-sanctioned dispensary.
Garden State regulators granted the Greenleaf Compassion Center a permit to begin selling pot Monday, ending a long political battle that forced terminally ill patients to wait years for a drug available legally in 17 other states.
“This permit marks a significant step forward in the implementation of New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program,” New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd said Monday, following a final state inspection of the facility in Montclair.
That facility — and the larger movement to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries — has faced a number of obstacles since then-Gov. Jon Corzine signed a medical marijuana bill into law in January 2010.
The law was originally intended to go into effect that summer, but the election of Gov. Chris Christie brought delays as the Republican and state Health Department took steps to limit federal prosecution and craft a set of strict regulations.
The Greenleaf site — granted permission to start growing in April — was issued an occupancy certificate late because of issues with an air conditioner, according to reports.