Greenleaf Compassion Center was issued a permit today by the Department of Health and Senior Services to begin growing medicinal marijuana. The permit was issued after a comprehensive review including background checks of Greenleaf's officers, several site visits by the Medicinal Marijuana Program to its grow facility and Department approval of Greenleaf's safety and security systems.
A permit to operate as an Alternative Treatment Center, including the additional authority to dispense medicinal marijuana, will be issued to Greenleaf once its Montclair dispensary is operational and has been inspected by the state. In addition, Greenleaf will have to satisfy the Department that it is in compliance with all of the regulations of the Medicinal Marijuana Program.
"The Department is committed to ensuring that medicinal marijuana is safely and securely available to patients as quickly as possible," said Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd. "Today's action authorizes Greenleaf to grow medicinal marijuana-which generally takes 3-4 months-so that once a permit for its dispensary is issued, medicinal marijuana will be available without delay."
In anticipation of Greenleaf being issued a permit to dispense, the Department today made public the names of more than 100 participating physicians on its website. Those doctors were informed that their names would be made public so patients may contact them. Physicians must have a bona fide and ongoing relationship with qualified patients they are recommending for the program.
The physician registry opened in October 2010 and will continue to allow for new physician enrollment. The Department is contacting physicians statewide today to notify them that an electronic registry is available if they want to participate.
Physicians can register online at the Department's website https://njmmp.nj.gov/njmmp/ by entering both their medical and Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDCs) license numbers. After the physicians' credentials are verified, doctors will submit names of patients they are recommending for medicinal marijuana for debilitating medical conditions including cancer, MS, AIDS, muscular dystrophy, seizure disorders and Crohn's disease.
The patient registry is in the final stages of development. Once the patient registry opens in several weeks, physicians will go online and enter the name, address, date of birth and qualifying condition of a patient, creating a secure patient identification number that the patient can then use to register electronically. As part of the registration process, patients will be required to submit a photo by mail to the Department in order to obtain an identification card from the Medicinal Marijuana Program.
"New Jersey's Medicinal Marijuana Program is based on a medical-model which requires physicians and qualified patients to have an ongoing relationship," said Dr. Arturo Brito, Deputy Commissioner for Public Health Services, which includes the Medicinal Marijuana Program. "Physicians will have to monitor patients on medicinal marijuana as part of managing their medical condition."
The Department hired staff to design and run the program and has consulted with other state agencies including Law and Public Safety, Agriculture and Treasury to address cross-cutting issues. A Memorandum of Agreement is also in place with the Attorney General's Office to conduct background reviews of ATC officers and employees.
To see the list of registered physicians and additional information about New Jersey's Medicinal Marijuana program, please visit http://www.state.nj.us/health/medicalmarijuana/index.shtml